Ultrasound Monitoring of Thymus Involution in Septic Mice

Misa Ito, Qian Wang, Dan Hao, Hisashi Sawada, Bin Huang, Ling Guo, Alan Daugherty, Xiang An Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thymus involution is characterized by a progressive regression of thymus size and contributes to immunosuppression in sepsis. High-frequency ultrasonography is a non-invasive monitoring system in multiple organs, including the thymus, in mice. However, thymus involution has not been studied using ultrasonography in septic mice. This study reports ultrasound approaches to monitoring septic thymus involution in mice. Sepsis was induced by cecum ligation and puncture (CLP). Mice were euthanized at three time points: baseline and days 3 and 10 after CLP. Thymus areas and volumes were measured using 2-D and 3-D ultrasound approaches. Thymus weights were measured ex vivo. Compared with values at baseline, both thymus area and volume decreased significantly at days 3 and 10. In addition, thymus areas and volumes correlated positively with thymus weights. In conclusion, ultrasonography provides reliable thymus measurements and is an optimal technique for monitoring thymus involution in septic mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-776
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants NIH R01 GM113832, NIH R01 GM121796 and VA 1 I01 BX004639 (to X-A Li). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or VA. This research was supported by the Shared Resource Facilities of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center (P30 CA177558) and the Saha Cardiovascular Research Center.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology


  • Mouse
  • Sepsis
  • Thymus
  • Thymus involution
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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