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Int J Oncol. 2003 Apr;22(4):795-8.

O(2) extraction is a key parameter determining the oxygenation status of malignant tumors and normal tissues.

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Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Mainz, D-55099 Mainz, Germany.


The aim of this study was to assess pivotal factors determining the oxygenation status of malignant tumors, and, for comparison, of normal tissues. For this purpose, microvascular patterns, blood flow data, O2 consumption rates and O2 extractions were correlated to the median pO2 values of isografted rodent and xenografted human tumors, and of various normal tissues. No correlations were found between median pO2 values and vascular patterns, O2 consumption rate or blood flow rate. When O2 extraction, however, was considered (a comprehensive parameter which encompasses all of the above factors), a strong inverse correlation was found between this parameter and the median pO2 values, both for malignant tumors (r2=0.917) and normal tissues (r2=0.959). At similar O2 extraction values, the median pO2 values in the solid tumors were substantially lower than those in normal tissues, a finding which most probably reflects the chaotic microcirculation found in tumors, the loss of flow regulation which in normal tissues meets the metabolic demands of the cells, and in some cases, tumor-associated anemia.

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