Comparing dynamic parameters of tumor vascularization in nude mice revealed by magnetic resonance imaging and contrast-enhanced intermittent power Doppler sonography

Invest Radiol. 2003 Aug;38(8):516-24. doi: 10.1097/01.rli.0000073448.16334.fe.


Rationale: Angiogenesis is essential for spread and growth of malignant tumors. Because noninvasive methods for observing tumor vascularization are limited, most of previous results were based on histologic findings alone. In this study, dynamic parameters obtained using intermittent contrast-enhanced Doppler sonography and dynamic MRI were compared and correlated with microvessel density.

Methods: Eleven tumor-bearing nude mice were examined with dynamic T(1)-weighted sequences using Gd-DTPA in a 1.5 T magnetic resonance (MR) scanner and with intermittent power Doppler sonography after a single bolus of galactose based contrast agent. After examination 6 tumors were harvested for immunofluorescence microscopy using a CD31 stain. Using a 2-compartment model, the MR parameters amplitude (reflecting plasma volume) and k(ep) (influenced by the vessel permeability) were calculated and compared with maximal enhancement (max) and perfusion P measured with ultrasound.

Results: The MR amplitude correlated with the ultrasound parameter max significantly (r = 0.61; P = 0.01). Max (r = 0.67; P = 0.01), amplitude (r = 0.72; P = 0.01), and perfusion (r = 0.62; P = 0.05) correlated with the microvessel density. k(ep) moderately correlated with max, but not with perfusion and microvessel density.

Conclusions: Dynamic MRI and contrast enhanced ultrasound are supplementing methods for examining perfusion and vascularity of experimental tumors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage
  • Gadolinium DTPA / administration & dosage
  • Image Enhancement
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Pulsed*


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA