Donald School Journal of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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VOLUME 2 , ISSUE 4 ( October-December, 2008 ) > List of Articles


Ultrasound Imaging in Animal Models of Human Disease—Is it a Step Toward Early Diagnosis in Humans?

Jacques S Abramowicz, Animesh Barua, Pincas Bitterman, Janice M Bahr, Eyal Sheiner, Judith L Luborsky

Keywords : Ovarian cancer,animal models,chicken,ultrasound,Doppler,contrast agents

Citation Information : Abramowicz JS, Barua A, Bitterman P, Bahr JM, Sheiner E, Luborsky JL. Ultrasound Imaging in Animal Models of Human Disease—Is it a Step Toward Early Diagnosis in Humans?. Donald School J Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2008; 2 (4):58-64.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10009-1078

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-12-2009

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2008; The Author(s).


Despite extensive research, cancer of the ovaries remains a major medical problem. The main reason is delay in diagnosis and hence, poor prognosis. This is due to issues in screening and a lack of specific symptoms in early disease. Yearly ultrasound examination and measurement of serum CA125 remain the recommended method despite less than ideal results. Animal research plays a major role in medical research, especially in cancer. Many publications describe the use of ultrasound in cancer research in a large variety of animals. Bmode, spectral and color Doppler have been employed and, more recently, ultrasound contrast agents, both for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. We have demonstrated that ultrasound can be used to detect early ovarian cancer in the egg-laying chicken. The major advantage is that chickens develop spontaneous ovarian cancer, with a tumor histology that is identical to humans. Furthermore, chickens with ovarian tumors have serum anti-tumor antibodies similar to humans. In addition, the first sign that the egg-laying chicken is going to develop cancer is that it stops laying eggs prematurely.* Thus, a strong biological sign exists to categorize the chicken in a very high risk group, allowing sequential examinations at very close intervals. We have also shown that ultrasound contrast agents may be used for visualization of ovarian vascularity, a step, we hope, in the development of better methods for screening and early diagnosis.

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