An interleaved gradient-echo (GE) / spin-echo (SE) EPI sequence was used to acquire images during the first pass of a susceptibility contrast agent, in patients with brain tumors. Maps of 1) GE (total) rCBV (relative cerebral blood volume), 2) SE (microvascular) rCBV, both corrected for T(1) leakage effects, and 3) (DeltaR(2)*/DeltaR(2)), a potential marker of averaged vessel diameter, were determined. Both GE rCBV and DeltaR(2)*/DeltaR(2) correlated strongly with tumor grade (P = 0.01, P = 0.01, n = 15), while SE rCBV did not (P = 0.24, n = 15). When the GE rCBV data were not corrected for leakage effects, the correlation with tumor grade was no longer significant (P = 0.09, n = 15). These findings suggest that MRI measurements of total blood volume fraction (corrected for agent extravasation) and DeltaR(2)*/DeltaR(2), as opposed to maps of microvascular volume, may prove to be the most appropriate markers for the evaluation of tumor angiogenesis (the induction of new blood vessels) and antiangiogenic therapies. Magn Reson Med 43:845-853, 2000.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.