Background: The correlation between vascularity and blood flow in hepatic metastases in patients with colorectal carcinoma was studied in 22 metastatic liver tumors.
Methods: Hepatic metastases were categorized into Grades A-C, in order of increasing vascularity, as determined by hepatic angiography. Of the 22 metastatic liver tumors from 15 patients that showed on angiography, 5 tumors had slightly increased tumor vascularization (Grade A), 10 tumors had vascularization similar to normal (Grade B), and 7 tumors showed decreased vascularization relative to liver parenchyma (Grade C). Blood flow in these metastatic liver tumors was calculated quantitatively by positron emission tomography (PET) scanning using the C(15)O(2) steady-state method and the H(2)(15)O dynamic method.
Results: Using the H(2)(15)O method, blood flow value in Grade A tumors was 52.9 +/- 17.0 mL per 100 g per minute (mean +/- standard error), that in Grade B tumors was 35.7 +/- 3.8 mL per 100 g per minute, and that in Grade C tumors was 31.7 +/- 6.6 mL per 100 g per minute.
Conclusions: A significant difference was found between blood flows in Grade A metastatic liver tumors and Grade B or C tumors (P < 0.002). There was no significant difference between blood flows in Grade B and C tumors. PET scan quantification results were almost parallel with the angiographic results. Even Grade C tumors had sufficient blood flow, about 32 mL per 100 g per minute on dynamic PET scans. These findings suggest that blood flow in hepatic metastases from colorectal carcinoma is greater than generally is believed.
Copyright 2000 American Cancer Society.