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Nat Med. 2004 Oct;10(10):1133-8. Epub 2004 Sep 7.

Volumetric computed tomography (VCT): a new technology for noninvasive, high-resolution monitoring of tumor angiogenesis.

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Department of Medical Physics in Radiology, German Cancer Research Center, INF 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Volumetric computed tomography (VCT) is a technology in which area detectors are used for imaging large volumes of a subject with isotropic imaging resolution. We are experimenting with a prototype VCT scanner that uses flat-panel X-ray detectors and is designed for high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) imaging. Using this technique, we have demonstrated microangiography of xeno-transplanted skin squamous cell carcinomas in nude mice. VCT shows the vessel architecture of tumors and animals with greater detail and plasticity than has previously been achieved, and is superior to contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) angiography. VCT and MR images correlate well for larger tumor vessels, which are tracked from their origin on 3D reconstructions of VCT images. When compared with histology, small tumor vessels with a diameter as small as 50 microm were clearly visualized. Furthermore, imaging small vessel networks inside the tumor tissue improved discrimination of vital and necrotic regions. Thus, VCT substantially improves imaging of vascularization in tumors and offers a promising tool for preclinical studies of tumor angiogenesis and antiangiogenic therapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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