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Open Access Ovine Model to Evaluate Ovarian Vascularization by Using Contrast-Enhanced Sonography

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This project was designed to evaluate an ovine model for the use of contrast agent to visualize the microcirculation of normal ovaries. Intraovarian vascularization was investigated in eight ewes by using contrast-enhanced power Doppler after intravenous injection of Sonovue at five different times during each of ten normal estrous cycles. Sheep under general anesthesia underwent transvaginal B mode and power Doppler ultrasound examination of both ovaries, then received two successive doses of 5 ml of Sonovue, one dose for each ovary. Each ovary was monitored after the contrast injection, and a 3-min video clip was stored for each side. The video clip was used to derive time–intensity curves, which were then used to derive the contrast parameters. A total of 108 doses of contrast agent were used; 93% of the injections were available for contrast enhancement analysis. The optimal dose was determined on the first two sheep. Enhancement was strongest and longest with the 5-ml dose. In one sheep, enhancement of both ovaries remained weak irrespective of the period of the cycle. No adverse side effects of Sonovue were seen in the sheep. Contrast injection improved visualization of ovarian microcirculation by 248% (95% confidence interval [CI], 210 to 285%) for 74.2 sec (95% CI, 68.2 to 80.2 sec). Ovaries on the side of ovulation had a stronger enhancement compared with the ovary with no ovulation (368% versus 175%, P < 0.001), but the enhancement time was the same. We concluded that the sheep is an excellent animal model to illustrate microcirculation enhancement by using Sonovue to demonstrate ovarian vascular changes.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics, Fetal Medicine and Human Reproduction, Bretonneau University Hospital, 2 boulevard Tonnellé, 37044 Tours cedex 1 France 2: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Biomedical Engineering, University of Arizona, Arizona Cancer Center, Salmon Bldg Room 1968, 1515 N Campbell Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85724 3: INSERM Clinical Investigation Center 202, Faculty of Medicine, 2 boulevard Tonnellé, 37044 Tours cedex 1 France 4: Department of Medical Imaging, Bretonneau University Hospital 2 boulevard Tonnellé, 37044 Tours cedex 1 France 5: MD Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Veterinary Sciences, 650 Cool Water Drive, Bastrop, Texas 78602

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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