Characterizing perfusion defects in metastatic lymph nodes at an early stage using high-frequency ultrasound and micro-CT imaging

Teppei Yamaki, Ariunbuyan Sukhbaatar, Radhika Mishra, Ryoichi Kikuchi, Maya Sakamoto, Shiro Mori, Tetsuya Kodama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A perfusion defect in a metastatic lymph node (LN) can be visualized as a localized area of low contrast on contrast-enhanced CT, MRI or ultrasound images. Hypotheses for perfusion defects include abnormal hemodynamics in neovascular vessels or a decrease in blood flow in pre-existing blood vessels in the parenchyma due to compression by LN tumor growth. However, the mechanisms underlying perfusion defects in LNs during the early stage of LN metastasis have not been investigated. We show that tumor mass formation with very few microvessels was associated with a perfusion defect in a non-enlarged LN at the early stage of LN metastasis in a LN adenopathy mouse (LN size circa 10 mm). We found in a mouse model of LN metastasis, induced using non-keratinizing tumor cells, that during the formation of the perfusion defect in a non-enlarged LN, the number of blood vessels ≤ 50 μm in diameter decreased, while those of > 50 μm in diameter increased. The methods used were contrast-enhanced high-frequency ultrasound and contrast-enhanced micro-CT imaging systems, with a maximum spatial resolution of > 30 μm. Furthermore, we found no tumor angiogenesis or oxygen partial pressure (pO2) changes in the metastatic LN. Our results demonstrate that the perfusion defect appears to be a specific form of tumorigenesis in the LN, which is a vascular-rich organ. We anticipate that a perfusion defect on ultrasound, CT or MRI images will be used as an indicator of a non-enlarged metastatic LN at an early stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-549
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and Experimental Metastasis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec


  • CT
  • Focal perfusion defect
  • Lymph node metastasis
  • Mouse model
  • Non-enlarged lymph node
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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