Feed aggregator

The three-dimensional context of a double helix determines the fluorescence of the internucleoside-tethered pair of fluorophores

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

We report a general phenomenon of the formation of either a fluorescent or an entirely quenched oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) duplex system by hybridizing pairs of complementary ODNs with identical chemical composition. The ODNs carried internucleoside tether-linked cyanines, where the cyanines were chosen to form a Forster's resonance energy transfer (FRET) donor-acceptor pair. The fluorescent and quenched ODN duplex systems differed only in that the cyanines linked to the respective ODNs were linked either closer to the 5'- or 3'-ends of the molecule. In either case, however, the dyes were separated by an identical number (7 or 8) of base pairs. Characterization by molecular modeling and energy minimization using a conformational search algorithm in a molecular operating environment (MOE) revealed that linking of the dyes closer to the 5'-ends resulted in their reciprocal orientation across the major groove which allowed a closely interacting dye pair to be formed. This overlap between the donor and acceptor dye molecules resulted in changes in absorbance spectra consistent with the formation of H-aggregates. Conversely, dyes linked closer to 3'-ends exhibited emissive FRET and formed a pair of dyes that interacted with the DNA helix only weakly. Induced CD spectra analysis suggested that interaction with the double helix was weaker than in the case of the closely interacting cyanine dye pair. Linking the dyes such that the base pair separation was 10 or 0 favored energy transfer with subsequent acceptor emission. Our results suggest that when interpreting FRET measurements from nucleic acids, the use of a "spectroscopic ruler" principle which takes into account the 3D helical context of the double helix will allow more accurate interpretation of fluorescence emission.

MR signal amplification for imaging of the mutant EGF receptor in orthotopic human glioma model

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

PURPOSE: To investigate the potential of targeted MR signal amplification strategy for imaging of EGF receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) overexpression associated with the infiltrating margin of aggressive orthotopic brain tumors.

PROCEDURES: F(ab')2 fragments of humanized anti-EGFRvIII monoclonal antibody (EMD72000) were linked to deglycosylated horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and glucose oxidase (GOX). Detection of the F(ab')2 conjugate pair colocalization in vivo was enabled by a subsequent IV injection of a low molecular weight paramagnetic substrate of HRP, diTyr-GdDTPA.

RESULTS: The delivery of the targeted fragments to the tumor was validated using SPECT/CT imaging of radiolabeled anti-EGFRvIII F(ab')2 conjugates. Further, by using 3 T MRI, we observed time-dependent differences in tumor signal intensity and signal retention at the endpoint depending on whether or not the animals were pre-injected with the anti-EGFRvIII F(ab')2 conjugates.

CONCLUSIONS: Imaging of EGFRvIII expression in vivo was enabled by consecutive administration of targeted F(ab')2 conjugates and a paramagnetic substrate resulting in a tumor-specific receptor detection with high specificity and resolution.

Protected graft copolymer excipient leads to a higher acute maximum tolerated dose and extends residence time of vasoactive intestinal Peptide significantly better than sterically stabilized micelles

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

PURPOSE: To determine and compare pharmacokinetics and toxicity of two nanoformulations of Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP).

METHODS: VIP was formulated using a micellar (Sterically Stabilized Micelles, SSM) and a polymer-based (Protected Graft Copolymer, PGC) nanocarrier at various loading percentages. VIP binding to the nanocarriers, pharmacokinetics, blood pressure, blood chemistry, and acute maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of the formulations after injection into BALB/c mice were determined.

RESULTS: Both formulations significantly extend in vivo residence time compared to unformulated VIP. Formulation toxicity is dependent on loading percentage, showing major differences between the two carrier types. Both formulations increase in vivo potency of unformulated VIP and show acute MTDs at least 140 times lower than unformulated VIP, but still at least 100 times higher than the anticipated highest human dose, 1-5 mug/kg. These nanocarriers prevented a significant drop in arterial blood pressure compared to unformulated VIP.

CONCLUSIONS: While both carriers enhance in vivo residence time compared to unformulated VIP and reduce the drop in blood pressure immediately after injection, PGC is the excipient of choice to extend residence time and improve the safety of potent therapeutic peptides such as VIP.

Dynamic monitoring of blood-brain barrier integrity using water exchange index (WEI) during mannitol and CO2 challenges in mouse brain

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

The integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is critical to normal brain function. Traditional techniques for the assessment of BBB disruption rely heavily on the spatiotemporal analysis of extravasating contrast agents. However, such methods based on the leakage of relatively large molecules are not suitable for the detection of subtle BBB impairment or for the performance of repeated measurements in a short time frame. Quantification of the water exchange rate constant (WER) across the BBB using strictly intravascular contrast agents could provide a much more sensitive method for the quantification of the BBB integrity. To estimate WER, we have recently devised a powerful new method using a water exchange index (WEI) biomarker and demonstrated BBB disruption in an acute stroke model. Here, we confirm that WEI is sensitive to even very subtle changes in the integrity of the BBB caused by: (i) systemic hypercapnia and (ii) low doses of a hyperosmolar solution. In addition, we have examined the sensitivity and accuracy of WEI as a biomarker of WER using computer simulation. In particular, the dependence of the WEI-WER relation on changes in vascular blood volume, T1 relaxation of cellular magnetization and transcytolemmal water exchange was explored. Simulated WEI was found to vary linearly with WER for typically encountered exchange rate constants (1-4 Hz), regardless of the blood volume. However, for very high WER ( > 5 Hz), WEI became progressively more insensitive to increasing WER. The incorporation of transcytolemmal water exchange, using a three-compartment tissue model, helped to extend the linear WEI regime to slightly higher WER, but had no significant effect for most physiologically important WERs (WER < 4 Hz). Variation in cellular T1 had no effect on WEI. Using both theoretical and experimental approaches, our study validates the utility of the WEI biomarker for the monitoring of BBB integrity.

A novel paramagnetic substrate for detecting myeloperoxidase activity in vivo

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

Bis-phenylamides and bis-hydroxyindolamides of diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid-gadolinium (DTPA(Gd)) are paramagnetic reducing substrates of peroxidases that enable molecular imaging of peroxidase activity in vivo. Specifically, gadolinium chelates of bis-5-hydroxytryptamide-DTPA (bis-5HT-DTPA(Gd)) have been used to image localized inflammation in animal models by detecting neutrophil-derived myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity at the inflammation site. However, in other preclinical disease models, bis-5HT-DTPA(Gd) presents technical challenges due to its limited solubility in vivo. Here we report a novel MPO-sensing probe obtained by replacing the reducing substrate serotonin (5-HT) with 5-hydroxytryptophan (HTrp). Characterization of the resulting probe (bis-HTrp-DTPA(Gd)) in vitro using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and enzyme kinetic analysis showed that bis-HTrp-DTPA(Gd) (1) improves solubility in water; (2) acts as a substrate for both horseradish peroxidase and MPO enzymes; (3) induces cross-linking of proteins in the presence of MPO; (4) produces oxidation products, which bind to plasma proteins; and (5) unlike bis-5HT-DTPA(Gd), does not follow first-order reaction kinetics. In vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in mice demonstrated that bis-HTrp-DTPA(Gd) was retained for up to 5 days in MPO-containing sites and cleared faster than bis-5HT-DTPA(Gd) from MPO-negative sites. Bis-HTrp-DTPA(Gd) should offer improvements for MRI of MPO-mediated inflammation in vivo, especially in high-field MRI, which requires a higher dose of contrast agent.

Sensing of transcription factor binding via cyanine dye pair fluorescence lifetime changes

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

We designed and synthesized sensors for imaging transcription factor-DNA interactions using a complementary pair of 21-base pair long oligonucleotides (ODNs) carrying two internucleoside phosphate-linked cyanine fluorophores that can either engage in Forster's resonance energy transfer (FRET) with fluorescence emission or assemble into a ground state quenched dimer with short fluorescence lifetimes (FL). Cyanine fluorophores were linked to ODNs within the NF-kappaB binding site. These sensors were tested in the presence of recombinant p50 and p65 NF-kappaB proteins or constitutively NF-kappaB activating HeLa cell lysates. By using a coherent light excitation source we followed changes in fluorescence lifetime of the donor (Cy5.5) at the donor's excitation and emission light wavelengths, as well as the acceptor (800CW or Cy7 cyanine fluorophores) in FRET mode. We observed increases in the donor lifetime in both emitting (0.08-0.15 ns) and non-emitting quenched (0.21 ns) sensors in response to protein binding. The measurements of lifetimes in FRET mode in quenched pair-carrying ODN duplex sensors showed significant differences in FL of the acceptor cyanine fluorophore between NF-kappaB-containing and NF-kappaB-free samples but not in control sensors with ODN sequences that have decreased binding affinity to NF-kappaB. We anticipate that the observed effects will be instrumental for developing sensors enabling non-invasive imaging in cells that undergo activation of NF-kappaB.

In vivo fluorescence lifetime detection of an activatable probe in infarcted myocardium

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

Activatable fluorescent molecular probes are predominantly nonfluorescent in their inactivated state due to intramolecular quenching, but increase fluorescence yield significantly after enzyme-mediated hydrolysis of peptides. Continuous wave in vivo detection of these protease-activatable fluorophores in the heart, however, is limited by the inability to differentiate between activated and nonactivated fractions of the probe and is frequently complicated by large background signal from probe accumulation in the liver. Using a cathepsin-activatable near-infrared probe (PGC-800), we demonstrate here that fluorescence lifetime (FL) significantly increases in infarcted murine myocardial tissue (0.67 ns) when compared with healthy myocardium (0.59 ns) after 24 h. Furthermore, we show that lifetime contrast can be used to distinguish in vivo cardiac fluorescence from background nonspecific liver signal. The results of this study show that lifetime contrast is a helpful addition to preclinical imaging of activatable fluorophores in the myocardium by reporting molecular activity in vivo due to changes in intramolecular quenching. This characterization of FL from activatable molecular probes will be helpful for advancing in vivo imaging of enzyme activity.

Orthotopic expression of noggin protein in cancer cells inhibits human lung carcinoma growth in vivo

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

PURPOSE: We explored the effect of Noggin protein expression on tumor growth in vivo by using fluorescence imaging.

PROCEDURES: Human lung carcinoma MV522 cells were transduced by using bicistronic (EGFP/Nog) or a control (EGFP) lentivirus at > 95% efficacy. The transduced cells were implanted in athymic mice either individually or after mixing with DsRed2-expressing MV522 cells.

RESULTS: The expression of Noggin protein was demonstrated in EGFP+/Nog+ but not in EGFP+ cell lysates and conditioned media. Noggin did not inhibit tumor cell proliferation in vitro. Implantation of EGFP+ resulted in rapid tumor growth, whereas mice implanted with EGFP+/Nog+ either failed to develop tumors or developed smaller slowly proliferating ones. In the case of tumors grown from mixtures with DsRed2+ cells, only Noggin-expressing cells resulted in decreased tumor volumes with low vascular density and poorly developed stroma.

CONCLUSION: The effect of Noggin protein expression is a consequence of inhibition of stromal and/or endothelial proliferation in vivo.

Protected graft copolymer (PGC) basal formulation of insulin as potentially safer alternative to Lantus(R) (insulin-glargine): a streptozotocin-induced, diabetic Sprague Dawley rats study

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

PURPOSE: To develop a long-acting formulation of native human insulin with a similar pharmacodynamics (PD) profile as the insulin analogue insulin glargine (Lantus(R), Sanofi-Aventis) with the expectation of retaining native human insulin's superior safety profile as insulin glargine is able to activate the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) receptor and is linked to a number of malignancies at a higher rate than regular human insulin.

METHODS: Development of protected graft copolymer (PGC) excipients that bind native human insulin non-covalently and testing blood glucose control obtained with these formulations in streptozotocin-induced diabetic Sprague Dawley rats compared to equally dosed insulin glargine.

RESULTS: PGC-formulations of native human insulin are able to control blood glucose to the same extent and for the same amount of time after s.c. injection as the insulin analogue insulin glargine. No biochemical changes were made to the insulin that would change receptor binding and activation with their possible negative effects on the safety of the insulin.

CONCLUSION: Formulation with the PGC excipient offers a viable alternative to biochemically changing insulin or other receptor binding peptides to improve PD properties.

Imaging the pancreatic vasculature in diabetes models

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

BACKGROUND: Vascular parameters, such as vascular volume, flow, and permeability, are important disease biomarkers for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it is essential to develop approaches to monitor the changes in pancreatic microvasculature non-invasively.

METHODS: Here, we describe the application of the long-circulating, paramagnetic T1 contrast agent, protected Graft Copolymer bearing covalently linked gadolinium diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid residues and labelled with fluorescein (PGC-GdDTPA-F) for the non-invasive semi-quantitative evaluation of vascular changes in diabetic models using magnetic resonance imaging.

RESULTS: We observed a significantly higher accumulation of protected graft copolymer bearing covalently linked gadolinium diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid residues and labelled with fluorescein in the pancreata of BBDR rats induced to develop diabetes, as compared to non-diabetic controls at 1 h post-injection. No differences were seen in the blood pool, kidney, or muscle, indicating that the effect is specific to the diabetic pancreas. Fluorescence microscopy revealed a marked increase in contrast agent availability in the pancreas with the development of the pathology. Similar changes were noted in the homozygous Leprdb mouse model of type 2 diabetes. This effect appeared to result both from the increase of vascular volume and permeability.

CONCLUSIONS: High-molecular weight paramagnetic blood volume contrast agents are valuable for the in vivo definition of pancreatic microvasculature dynamics by magnetic resonance imaging. The increase in vascular volume and permeability, associated with diabetic inflammation, can be monitored non-invasively and semi-quantitatively by magnetic resonance imaging in diabetic BBDR rats. This imaging strategy represents a valuable research tool for better understanding of the pathologic process.

Hairpin-like fluorescent probe for imaging of NF-kappaB transcription factor activity

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

Three oligodeoxyribonucleotides (ODN) covalently labeled with near-infrared (NIR) fluorochromes were synthesized and characterized with a goal of comparing in vitro a hairpin-based and a duplex-based FRET probe designed for the detection of human recombinant NF-kappaB p50/p65 heterodimer binding to DNA. Using deoxyguanosine phosphoramidite with a phosphorus-linked aminoethylene (diethylene glycol) hydrophilic linker, we synthesized ODNs with internucleoside reactive sites. The hairpin loop amino linker was modified with IRDye 800CW (FRET acceptor), and the 3'-end was modified with Cy5.5 (FRET donor) using a dithio-linker. To obtain a duplex probe, we conjugated Cy5.5 and 800CW to complementary strands at the distance of ten base pairs in the resultant duplex. No quenching of dyes was observed in either probe. The FRET efficiency was higher in the duplex (71%) than in the hairpin (56%) due to a more favorable distance between the donor and the acceptor. However, the hairpin design allowed more precise ratiometric measurement of fluorescence intensity changes as a result of NF-kappaB p50/p65 binding to the probe. We determined that as a result of binding there was a statistically significant increase of fluorescence intensity of Cy5.5 (donor) due to a decrease of FRET if normalized by 800CW intensity measured independently of FRET. We conclude that the hairpin based probe design allows for the synthesis of a dual fluorescence imaging probe that renders signal changes that are simple to interpret and stoichiometrically correct for detecting transcription factor-DNA interactions.

In vitro and In vivo imaging of antivasculogenesis induced by Noggin protein expression in human venous endothelial cells

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

Noggin protein is a potent bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist capable of inhibiting vasculogenesis even in the presence of provasculogenic VEGF and FGF-2. We found that human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) do not express Noggin in culture and used these cells for modeling of antivasculogenesis. We hypothesized that high-efficiency transduction of HUVECs with bicistronic lentiviral vector encoding Noggin and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) enables direct visualization of Noggin effects in homogenous primary cell populations in vitro and in vivo. By comparing HUVECs transduced with a control GFP and GFP/Noggin expression cassettes, we showed that constitutive and orthotopic Noggin protein expression did not influence cell proliferation, down-regulated BMP-2 expression, and showed no effect on BMP receptor transcripts. We demonstrated that in contrast to GFP-only control, Noggin expression in endothelial cells abrogated endothelial migration in response to monolayer injury, blocked endothelial transmigration, and caused abrogation of cord formation in vitro. Adding exogenous BMP-4 restored the formation of cords. Imaging experiments in vivo investigated vessel formation in Matrigel implants in athymic mice by utilizing GFP imaging or magnetic resonance imaging of perfusion in the implants. Both approaches demonstrated the lack of functional vessel formation after the adoptive transfer of GFP/Noggin-expressing human endothelial cells in mice.

Enzyme-sensitive magnetic resonance imaging targeting myeloperoxidase identifies active inflammation in experimental rabbit atherosclerotic plaques

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

BACKGROUND: Inflammation undermines the stability of atherosclerotic plaques, rendering them susceptible to acute rupture, the cataclysmic event that underlies clinical expression of this disease. Myeloperoxidase is a central inflammatory enzyme secreted by activated macrophages and is involved in multiple stages of plaque destabilization and patient outcome. We report here that a unique functional in vivo magnetic resonance agent can visualize myeloperoxidase activity in atherosclerotic plaques in a rabbit model.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic aorta of New Zealand White rabbits fed a cholesterol (n=14) or normal (n=4) diet up to 2 hours after injection of the myeloperoxidase sensor bis-5HT-DTPA(Gd) [MPO(Gd)], the conventional agent DTPA(Gd), or an MPO(Gd) analog, bis-tyr-DTPA(Gd), as controls. Delayed MPO(Gd) images (2 hours after injection) showed focal areas of increased contrast ( > 2-fold) in diseased wall but not in normal wall (P=0.84) compared with both DTPA(Gd) (n=11; P < 0.001) and bis-tyr-DTPA(Gd) (n=3; P < 0.05). Biochemical assays confirmed that diseased wall possessed 3-fold elevated myeloperoxidase activity compared with normal wall (P < 0.01). Areas detected by MPO(Gd) imaging colocalized and correlated with myeloperoxidase-rich areas infiltrated by macrophages on histopathological evaluations (r=0.91, P < 0.0001). Although macrophages were the main source of myeloperoxidase, not all macrophages secreted myeloperoxidase, which suggests that distinct subpopulations contribute differently to atherogenesis and supports our functional approach.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study represents a unique approach in the detection of inflammation in atherosclerotic plaques by examining macrophage function and the activity of an effector enzyme to noninvasively provide both anatomic and functional information in vivo.

Plate capture assay of fluorescent oligonucleotide duplex reporter-transcription factor complexes

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

We previously developed prototype oligodeoxyribonucleotide (ODN) duplex fluorescence energy transfer (FRET) reporters for optical sensing of NF-kappaB transcription factor. We report here a plate-binding assay designed for optimizing the above reporters. Nitrilotriacetate-bearing plates were prepared by using sequential (1) aminosilylation; (2) carboxylation; (3) coupling of Nalpha,Nalpha-bis(carboxymethyl)-L-lysine or, alternatively, by replacing steps 1 and 2 by treating the glass with 3-(triethoxysilyl)propylsuccinic anhydride. FRET reporters were obtained by covalent linking of Cy5.5 (fluorescence donor) and IRdye800CW (fluorescence acceptor) to complementary ODN strands encoding a high-affinity p50 binding site. Recombinant 6 x His tagged NF-kappaB p50 was used for immobilizing the protein on glass plates via linked NTA-Ni(II) groups. Imaging and quantification of the fluorescence intensity in the wells was performed in two channels (700 and 800 nm) using a near-infrared scanning device with microscopic resolution. The fluorescence intensity of the ODN duplex reporter was detectible in the plates at the concentration of 5 pM. NF-kappaB p50-ODN reporter interaction was studied by measuring the ratio of 700 nm (donor) to 800 nm (acceptor) fluorescence intensities. Using the plate assay, we were able to measure p50-mediated interference with FRET at low density of plate binding.

Large-angle x-ray scatter in Talbot-Lau interferometry for breast imaging

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

Monte Carlo simulations were used to investigate large-angle x-ray scatter at design energy of 25 keV during small field of view (9.6 cm x 5 cm) differential phase contrast imaging of the breast using Talbot-Lau interferometry. Homogenous, adipose and fibroglandular breasts of uniform thickness ranging from 2 to 8 cm encompassing the field of view were modeled. Theoretically determined transmission efficiencies of the gratings were used to validate the Monte Carlo simulations, followed by simulations to determine the x-ray scatter reaching the detector. The recorded x-ray scatter was classified into x-ray photons that underwent at least one Compton interaction (incoherent scatter) and Rayleigh interaction alone (coherent scatter) for further analysis. Monte Carlo based estimates of transmission efficiencies showed good correspondence [Formula: see text] with theoretical estimates. Scatter-to-primary ratio increased with increasing breast thickness, ranging from 0.11 to 0.22 for 2-8 cm thick adipose breasts and from 0.12 to 0.28 for 2-8 cm thick fibroglandular breasts. The analyzer grating reduced incoherent scatter by ~18% for 2 cm thick adipose breast and by ~35% for 8 cm thick fibroglandular breast. Coherent scatter was the dominant contributor to the total scatter. Coherent-to-incoherent scatter ratio ranged from 2.2 to 3.1 for 2-8 cm thick adipose breasts and from 2.7 to 3.4 for 2-8 cm thick fibroglandular breasts.

Computerized 3-dimensional localization of a video capsule in the abdominal cavity: validation by digital radiography

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

BACKGROUND: Wireless video capsule endoscopy allows the noninvasive visualization of the small intestine. Currently, capsules do not provide localization information while traversing the GI tract.

OBJECTIVE: To report on the radiological validation of 3-dimensional localization software incorporated in a newly developed capsule. By using radiofrequency transmission, the software measures the strength of the capsule's signal to locate the position of the capsule.

SETTING: This study was performed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, Mass.

PATIENTS: Thirty healthy volunteers consented to the experimental procedure.

DESIGN: After ingestion of the capsule, subjects had 5 sets of anteroposterior and lateral radiographs taken every 30 minutes while the software calculated the position of the capsule. By using the radiographs, we calculated the location of the capsule in the abdominal cavity and compared the results with those generated by the software.

RESULTS: Average error (and standard deviation) among the 3-dimensional coordinates was X, 2.00 cm (1.64); Y, 2.64 cm (2.39); and Z, 2.51 cm (1.83). The average total spatial error among all measurements was 13.26 cm(3) (22.72). There was a correlation between increased subject body mass index and the 3-dimensional software measurement error.

LIMITATIONS: This study was performed in healthy volunteers and needs further validation in patients with small intestinal disorders.

CONCLUSIONS: The new 3-dimensional software provides localization of the capsule consistent with radiological observations. However, further validation of the software's clinical utility is required with a prospective clinical trial. Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

Assessment of liver fat in an obese patient population using noncontrast CT fat percent index

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

OBJECTIVE: To develop a simplified method to quantify liver fat using computed tomography (CT) fat % index (CTFPI) compared to liver spleen method (CTL/S, CTL-S).

METHODS: Noncontrast CT of the liver was performed in 89 patients (overweight, obese, severely obese) to quantify fat, using the following: CTFPI = [(65-patient HU)/65]x100, normal live r = 65 HU.

RESULTS: There was a strong linear correlation between CTFPI and the standard method of assessing liver fat using CTL/S (r = -0.901), CTL-S (r = -0.911). Hepatic HU and CTFPI were significantly different in the severely obese group compared to other two groups (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: Significant correlation indicates equal diagnostic accuracy of the two methods in appropriately calibrated scanners.

The potential role of dedicated 3D breast CT as a diagnostic tool: review and early clinical examples

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

Mammography is the gold standard in routine screening for the detection of breast cancer in the general population. However, limitations in sensitivity, particularly in dense breasts, has motivated the development of alternative imaging techniques such as digital breast tomosynthesis, whole breast ultrasound, breast-specific gamma imaging, and more recently dedicated breast computed tomography or "breast CT". Virtually all diagnostic work-ups of asymptomatic nonpalpable findings arise from screening mammography. In most cases, diagnostic mammography and ultrasound are sufficient for diagnosis, with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) playing an occasional role. Digital breast tomosynthesis, a limited-angle tomographic technique, is increasingly being used for screening. Dedicated breast CT has full three-dimensional (3D) capability with near-isotropic resolution, which could potentially improve diagnostic accuracy. In current dedicated breast CT clinical prototypes, 300-500 low-dose projections are acquired in a circular trajectory around the breast using a flat panel detector, followed by image reconstruction to provide the 3D breast volume. The average glandular dose to the breast from breast CT can range from as little as a two-view screening mammogram to approximately that of a diagnostic mammography examination. Breast CT displays 3D images of the internal structures of the breast; therefore, evaluation of suspicious features like microcalcifications, masses, and asymmetries can be made in multiple anatomical planes from a single scan. The potential role of breast CT for diagnostic imaging is illustrated here through clinical examples such as imaging soft tissue abnormalities and microcalcifications. The potential for breast CT to serve as an imaging tool for extent of disease evaluation and for monitoring neo-adjuvant chemotherapy response is also illustrated.

Personalized estimates of radiation dose from dedicated breast CT in a diagnostic population and comparison with diagnostic mammography

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

This study retrospectively analyzed the mean glandular dose (MGD) to 133 breasts from 132 subjects, all women, who participated in a clinical trial evaluating dedicated breast CT in a diagnostic population. The clinical trial was conducted in adherence to a protocol approved by institutional review boards and the study participants provided written informed consent. Individual estimates of MGD to each breast from dedicated breast CT was obtained by combining x-ray beam characteristics with estimates of breast dimensions and fibroglandular fraction from volumetric breast CT images, and using normalized glandular dose coefficients. For each study participant and for the breast corresponding to that imaged with breast CT, an estimate of the MGD from diagnostic mammography (including supplemental views) was obtained from the DICOM image headers for comparison. This estimate uses normalized glandular dose coefficients corresponding to a breast with 50% fibroglandular weight fraction. The median fibroglandular weight fraction for the study cohort determined from volumetric breast CT images was 15%. Hence, the MGD from diagnostic mammography was corrected to be representative of the study cohort. Individualized estimates of MGD from breast CT ranged from 5.7 to 27.8 mGy. Corresponding to the breasts imaged with breast CT, the MGD from diagnostic mammography ranged from 2.6 to 31.6 mGy. The mean (+/- inter-breast SD) and the median MGD (mGy) from dedicated breast CT exam were 13.9 +/- 4.6 and 12.6, respectively. For the corresponding breasts, the mean (+/- inter-breast SD) and the median MGD (mGy) from diagnostic mammography were 12.4 +/- 6.3 and 11.1, respectively. Statistical analysis indicated that at the 0.05 level, the distributions of MGD from dedicated breast CT and diagnostic mammography were significantly different (Wilcoxon signed ranks test, p = 0.007). While the interquartile range and the range (maximum-minimum) of MGD from dedicated breast CT was lower than diagnostic mammography, the median MGD from dedicated breast CT was approximately 13.5% higher than that from diagnostic mammography. The MGD for breast CT is based on a 1.45 mm skin layer and that for diagnostic mammography is based on a 4 mm skin layer; thus, favoring a lower estimate for MGD from diagnostic mammography. The median MGD from dedicated breast CT corresponds to the median MGD from four to five diagnostic mammography views. In comparison, for the same 133 breasts, the mean and the median number of views per breast during diagnostic mammography were 4.53 and 4, respectively. Paired analysis showed that there was approximately equal likelihood of receiving lower MGD from either breast CT or diagnostic mammography. Future work will investigate methods to reduce and optimize radiation dose from dedicated breast CT.

Development and testing of a single frequency terahertz imaging system for breast cancer detection

eScholarship@UMMS - Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:41pm

The ability to discern malignant from benign tissue in excised human breast specimens in Breast Conservation Surgery (BCS) was evaluated using single frequency terahertz radiation. Terahertz (THz) images of the specimens in reflection mode were obtained by employing a gas laser source and mechanical scanning. The images were correlated with optical histological micrographs of the same specimens, and a mean discrimination of 73% was found for five out of six samples using Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis. The system design and characterization is discussed in detail. The initial results are encouraging but further development of the technology and clinical evaluation is needed to evaluate its feasibility in the clinical environment.

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