• Open Access

Real-time imaging of the lymphatic channels and sentinel lymph nodes of the stomach using contrast-enhanced ultrasonography with Sonazoid in a porcine model


To whom correspondence should be addressed.
E-mail: ohhashi@shinshu-u.ac.jp


The contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS)-guided method in combination with Sonazoid has not been clinically or experimentally evaluated with regard to its use for identifying sentinel lymph node (SLN) in the stomach. Therefore, we attempted to evaluate the usefulness of the CEUS-guided method with Sonazoid for imaging of the lymphatic channels and SLN of the stomach in a porcine model by comparing it with the conventional Evans blue dye-guided method. Twenty-eight 2 to 3-month-old swine weighing 17–30 kg were used in this experiment. Anesthesia was maintained with 2.0–3.0% isoflurane/O2 inhalation. Sonazoid was injected into the intra- and sub-mucosal layers of the stomach. The intragastric or transcutaneous CEUS-guided method was used to identify the lymphatic channels and SLN of the stomach. Contrast imaging using the CEUS-guided method with Sonazoid enabled us to produce clear images of the afferent lymph vessel and SLN of the stomach until 2 h after the injection of Sonazoid. In addition, intranodal flow of the microbubble agent could be clearly identified using tissue linear harmonic images of the SLN. The SLN detection rate was not significantly different between the CEUS- and dye-guided methods. However, the Evans blue dye flowed out quickly (∼15 min after the injection) through the true SLN into the next LN of stomach. In conclusion, the use of the CEUS-guided method with Sonazoid might be the most useful clinical procedure for producing real-time images of the SLN of the stomach, and the linear harmonic images are also useful for evaluating intranodal structure within the SLN. (Cancer Sci 2011; 102: 2073–2081)