Angiogenesis is a very important process for tumor growth and proliferation. Given its high temporal and spatial resolution, magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is well suited for use in the assessment of angiogenesis. MR angiography can be used clinically and experimentally for identification of tumor feeding and draining vessels, for tumor characterization, and for treatment planning. The morphologic structure of tumor vessels can be investigated in relation to tumor vessel permeability with use of specific contrast agents. To gain insight into tumor angiogenesis in vivo, the authors compared images obtained with digital photography, high-resolution MR angiography, and intravital microscopy through a dorsal skin-fold window in a rodent model. The close correlation between images obtained with these various modalities, with regard to the depiction of the developing tumor vasculature, indicates that noninvasive quantification of angiogenesis may be possible with MR imaging. Future directions in tumor imaging may include so-called four-dimensional MR angiography, in which high-resolution three-dimensional MR angiography is combined with dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Vliet, M., van Dijke, C., Wielopolski, P., ten Hagen, T., Veenland, J., Preda, A., … Krestin, G. (2005). MR angiography of tumor-related vasculature: from the clinic to the micro- environment. In RadioGraphics (Vol. 25, pp. 85–97). doi:10.1148/rg.25si055512