Semiquantitative analysis of dynamic contrast enhanced MRI in cancer patients: Variability and changes in tumor tissue over time

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2004 Jul;20(1):122-8. doi: 10.1002/jmri.20061.


Purpose: To evaluate variability of a simplified method for measuring semiquantitative DCE-MRI parameters in patients with cancer and to explore effects of treatment with a putative anti-angiogenic compound.

Materials and methods: A total of 19 patients enrolled on treatment trials with the putative anti-angiogenic agent SU5416 underwent contrast enhanced examinations, and 11 had a second examination eight weeks post therapy. Contrast media concentration as a function of time was calculated using changes in signal and literature baseline T(1) values in normal muscle or liver reference tissue. Semiquantitative DCE-MRI parameters, including the area under the contrast concentration vs. time curve (AUC), were calculated for regions-of-interest in normal liver and muscle, and in tumors.

Results: The coefficients of variation for pretherapy parameters in normal tissue were 11% to 37%. No significant changes were detected in normal liver over two months of therapy. In tumors and muscle, a significant decrease in the AUC and maximum contrast concentration was observed.

Conclusion: Variability of semiquantitative DCE-MRI parameters utilizing a method based on known T(1) values in a reference tissue is low enough to detect changes in tumors during therapy. Use of this method as a pharmacodynamic marker should be further investigated.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Colonic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Contrast Media*
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Indoles / therapeutic use
  • Liver / anatomy & histology
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Melanoma / diagnosis
  • Melanoma / drug therapy
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Mesothelioma / diagnosis
  • Mesothelioma / drug therapy
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Contrast Media
  • Indoles
  • Pyrroles
  • Semaxinib
  • gadodiamide
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Gadolinium DTPA