Neovascularity in a VX2 carcinoma in rabbit liver was detectable, using an ultrasonic color Doppler flow imager. Intraportal infusion of heated saline increased the fractional area of color flow Doppler signals by at least 5% and as much as 30%, within and surrounding the tumors of all six rabbits studied. The effect of the fluid load was an increase in fractional area of color flow Doppler signals by 5 to 20% and was determined by the measurements following infusion and return to baseline temperature. The largest increment in color Doppler signal was observed in peritumoral vessels (10-40%). In contrast, the fractional area of color-coded pixels within the tumor was only slightly higher or lower (5-10%) at the peak temperature than at the baseline measurements. The temperature within the tumors was as much as 1 degree lower than parenchymal tissue in all animals measured. This was presumably due to the portal vein blood supply to normal tissue and predominantly hepatic artery supply to the pathological tissue. High velocities and persistent bidirectional flow were observed within the tumors only at the peak temperatures (>43.5°C). This experiment suggests that thermal stress may enhance tumor detectability by color Doppler imaging. Further development of a quantitative analysis method for color Doppler studies is needed.
- Doppler studies
- Tumor imaging