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Sinclair Miniature Swine Melanoma as a Model for Evaluating Novel Lymphography Contrast Agents

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Advances in Swine in Biomedical Research


Malignant melanoma is an heritable, nonsex linked trait in the strain of Sinclair miniature swine. Cutaneous melanoma lesions arise at or shortly after birth in up to 54% of the piglets. These tumors readily metastasize to lymph nodes, lung and liver, yet may regress spontaneously due to immune mechanisms. The genetic predisposition, apparent spontaneous transformation and similar histomorphology to human melanomas endorse this model for investigations of human melanomas. In addition, this model allows for assessment of melanoma metastasis to regional lymph nodes using novel iodinated contrast agents.

Using subcutaneously administered iodinated nanoparticles (indirect CT lymphography), studies were conducted to characterize the Computed Tomography (CT) appearance of normal lymph nodes compared to lymph nodes infiltrated with metastatic melanomas. An iodinated suspension was injected subcutaneously into distal extremities of normal Sinclair miniature swine. Contrast agent was injected subcutaneously in a ring pattern around each lesion in age matched miniature swine with cutaneous melanomas. Pre and 24 hr postinjection CT images were obtained through opacified regional nodes. The CT appearance of normal and cancerous nodes was characterized and correlated histologically. Since the cortex and medulla in swine lymph nodes are reversed, as compared to human nodes, this characteristic must be taken into account when interpreting imaging data.

Normal opacified lymph nodes exposed to contrast agent were larger than nonopacified, unexposed, normal contralateral nodes. There was a marked, uniform increase in attenuation of the lymph node medulla and good demarcation between medulla and less opacified cortex. Cancerous nodes with macrometastases generally were larger than opacified normal contralateral nodes. Typical architectural changes in cancerous nodes included incomplete opacification associated with small to massive filling defects, disruption and irregularity of the opacified medullary zone and irregular foci of opacification within the cortex. Altered lymph node architecture was appreciated in cancerous nodes on indirect CT lymphographic studies after injection of iodinated contrast agents. Sinclair swine bred for the trait of melanoma development provide a good model for studies of lymphographic contrast agents.

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© 1996 Springer Science+Business Media New York

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Johnson, D.K., Wisner, E.R., Griffey, S.M., Vessey, A.R., Haley, P.J. (1996). Sinclair Miniature Swine Melanoma as a Model for Evaluating Novel Lymphography Contrast Agents. In: Tumbleson, M.E., Schook, L.B. (eds) Advances in Swine in Biomedical Research. Springer, Boston, MA.

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