Intraluminal gel ultrasound and eco-color doppler: New tools for the study of colorectal cancer in mice

Antonio Barbieri, Maria Luisa Barretta, Domenica Rea, Carmine Picone, Olimpia Fabozzi, Giuseppe Palma, Luciano Antonio, Alessandro Federico, Sabrina Bimonte, Francesca Setola, Elisabetta De Lutio Di Castelguidone, Maria Castellano, Adolfo Gallipoli D'Errico, Michele Caraglia, Claudio Arra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Azoxymethane (AOM) is a potent carcinogen that induces colorectal cancer in mice. Intraluminal gel ultrasound is a technique based on the injection of gel into the rectum. This technique allows the colon to be straightened and to visualize and identify tumours. Materials and Methods: Twenty female C57Bl/6J mice were injected intraperitoneally with 10 mg/kg of AOM one time per week for six weeks. The mice were monitored by ultrasound with a Vevo 2100 system. We evaluated the tumour area and tumour vasculature with Ecocolor-Doppler (ECD). Histological examination of sacrificed mice was employed as the standard protocol. Results: After 40 weeks from the injection, ultrasound analysis revealed the presence of tumours in 50% of all mice. Ex vivo analysis revealed the presence of 57% true-positives and only one false-positive. In two mice, ultrasound did not reveale the presence of tumour due to its small dimension. This indicates that ultrasound is able to detect only tumours with sizes ≥3 mm2. Conclusion: Ultrasound is a rapid examination compared to other diagnostic techniques. It has a good sensitivity when the tumours reach the dimensions of 3 mm2 or more. Intraluminal gel allows for the tumour area to be evaluated when mice are still alive, while ECD allows for vasculature of intestinal walls and colorectal tumour to be evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-450
Number of pages8
JournalIn Vivo
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Mouse model
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology


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