The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI for quantitative characterization of tumor microvessels and to assess the microvascular changes in response to isolated limb perfusion with TNF-α and melphalan. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI was performed in an experimental cancer model, using a macromolecular contrast medium, albumin-(Gd-DTPA)45. Small fragments of BN 175, a soft-tissue sarcoma, were implanted in 11 brown Norway (BN) rats. Animals were assigned randomly to a control (Haemaccel) or drug-treated group (TNF-α/melphalan). MRI was performed at baseline and 24 h after ILP. The transendothelial permeability (KPS) and the fractional plasma volume (fPV) were estimated from the kinetic analysis of MR data using a two-compartment bi-directional model. KPS and fPV decreased significantly in the drug-treated group compared to baseline (p < 0.05). In addition, K PS post therapy was significantly lower (p < 0.05) in the drug-treated group than in the control group. There was no significant difference in fPV between the drug-treated and the control group after therapy. Tumor micro vascular changes in response to isolated limb perfusion can be determined after 24 h by dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI. The data obtained in this experimental model suggest possible applications in the clinical setting, using the appropriate MR contrast agents.

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Keywords Isolated limb perfusion, Magnetic resonance imaging, Microvascular permeability, Soft-tissue sarcoma, Tumor angiogenesis
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Journal Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine
Preda, A, Wielopolski, P.A, ten Hagen, T.L.M, van Vliet, M.H, Veenland, J.F, Aan de Wiel-Ambagtsheer, G, … van Dijke, C.F. (2004). Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI using macromolecular contrast media for monitoring the response to isolated limb perfusion in experimental soft-tissue sarcomas. Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine, 17(3-6), 296–302. doi:10.1007/s10334-004-0050-z