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Top Magn Reson Imaging. 1999 Apr;10(2):92-103.

Tumor angiogenesis, vascularization, and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Angiogenesis, the process by which new blood vessels are generated, occurs during wound healing, in the female reproductive system during ovulation and gestation, and during embryonic development. The process is carefully controlled with positive and negative regulators, because several vital physiological functions require angiogenesis. The consequences of abnormal angiogenesis are either excessive or insufficient blood vessel growth. Ulcers, strokes, and heart attacks can result from the absence of angiogenesis normally required for natural healing, whereas excessive blood vessel proliferation may favor tumor growth and dissemination, blindness, and arthritis. In this review, the process of angiogenesis and the characteristics of the resulting tumor vasculature are outlined. Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques that currently are available for basic research and clinical applications to study various aspects of tumor angiogenesis and neovascularization are discussed.

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