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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 23;8(12):e82649. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082649. eCollection 2013.

Dynamic contrast-enhanced and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging noninvasive evaluation of vascular disrupting treatment on rabbit liver tumors.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
  • 2Section of Radiology, Department of Medical Diagnostic Science, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
  • 3Plant Resources and Chemistry of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jiangsu Provincial Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, China.
  • 4Radiation Medical Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Jinan, China.


Evaluation of vascular disrupting treatment (VDT) is generally based on tumor size and enhancement on conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which, unfortunately, may be limited in providing satisfactory information. The purpose of the study is to evaluate consecutive changes of 20 rabbit VX2 liver tumors after VDT by dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) at a 3.0 T MR unit. Twenty four hours after intravenous injection of Combretastatin A-4-phosphate (CA4P) at 20 mg/kg, DCE-MRI derived Maximum Slope of Increase (MSI) and Positive Enhancement Integral (PEI) decreased sharply due to sudden shutting down of tumor feeding vessels. DWI derived Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC) in tumor periphery decreased because of ischemic cell edema. On day 4, an increase of MSI was probably caused by the recovery of blood supply. A remarkable increase of ADC represented a large scale of necrosis among tumors. On day 8, the blood perfusion further decreased and the extent of necrosis further increased, reflected by lower MSI and PEI values and higher ADC value. On day 12, a second decrease of ADC was noticed because the re-growth of periphery tumor. The experimental data indicate that the therapeutic effects of VDT may be noninvasively monitored with DCE-MRI (reflecting tumor blood perfusion) and DWI (reflecting the changes of histology), which provide powerful measures for assessment of anticancer treatments.

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