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Quantitative evaluation of range and metabolic activity of hepatic alveolar echinococcosis lesion microenvironment using PET/CT and multi-site sampling method

Abudusalamu Aini, Maiweilidan Yimingjiang, Aimaiti Yasen, Bo Ran, Tiemin Jiang, Xiaohong Li, Jian Wang, Abuduaini Abulizi, Zhide Li, Yingmei Shao,
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Published: 23 July 2021

Abstract: Background Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) lesion microenvironment (LME) is crucial site where parasite-host interactions happen and of great significance during surgery and obtaining liver samples for basic research. However, little is known about quantification of LME range and its’ metabolic activity regarding different lesion characteristics. Methods A prospective and retrospective analysis of LME from surgical AE patients was performed. Patients (n = 75) received abdominal computed tomography (CT) and position emission tomography/computed tomography using 18F-fluodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG-PET/CT) within 1 week prior to surgery. Semiquantitatively, calcification was clustered with 0%, < 50% and ≥ 50% degrees at lesion periphery; liquefaction was clustered with 0%, < 50%, 50 ~ 75%, ≥75% degrees at lesion center using volumetric ratio. Tumor to background ratio (TBR) of 18F-FDG standard uptake value (SUV, n = 75) was calculated, and range of 18F-FDG uptake area was measured; Multi-site sampling method (MSS, n = 35) was introduced to obtain histological slides to evaluate immune cell infiltrative ranges. Results Altogether six major lesion groups have been identified (A: 0% calcified, 0% liquefied; B: ≥50% calcified, 0% liquefied; C: < 50% calcified, < 50% liquefied; D: ≥50% calcified, < 50% liquefied; E: < 50% calcified, 50 ~ 75% liquefied; F: ≥50% calcified, ≥75% liquefied). Statistically, TBR values respectively were 5.1 ± 1.9, 2.7 ± 1.2, 4.2 ± 1.2, 2.7 ± 0.7, 4.6 ± 1.2, 2.9 ± 1.1 in groups A ~ F, and comparisons showed A > B, A > D, A > F, E > B, E > D, E > F, C > B, C > D, C > F (P < 0.05); LME ranges indicated by PET/CT respectively were 14.9 ± 3.9, 10.6 ± 1.5, 12.3 ± 1.1, 7.8 ± 1.6, 11.1 ± 2.3, 7.0 ± 0.4 mm in groups A ~ F, and comparisons showed A > B, A > D, A > F, A > E, C > B, C > D, C > F, E > D, E > F, B > D, B > F (P < 0.05); LME ranges indicated by MSS respectively were 17.9 ± 4.9, 13.0 ± 2.7, 11.9 ± 2.6, 6.0 ± 2.2, 11.0 ± 4.1, 6.0 ± 2.2 mm in groups A ~ F, and comparisons showed A > C, A > D, A > F, B > D, B > F, C > D, C > F (P < 0.05). Generally, less calcifications indicated higher TBR values and wider LME ranges; and, severer liquefactions indicated smaller LME ranges. Additionally, patients with previous medication history had lower TBR values. Conclusions PET/CT and MSS method showed distinct TBRs and LME ranges for different calcifications and liquefactions. This study would be able to provide references for both surgical resections of lesions and more accurate sample acquisitions for basic research targeted to immunology.
Keywords: Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) / Multi-site sampling (MSS) / PET/CT / Lesion microenvironment (LME) / Immune infiltration

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