Comparing oxygen-sensitive MRI (BOLD R2*) with oxygen electrode measurements: a pilot study in men with prostate cancer

Int J Radiat Biol. 2009 Sep;85(9):805-13. doi: 10.1080/09553000903043059.


Purpose: To explore the relationship between oxygen-sensitive Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and oxygen measurements in prostate cancer.

Methods: Nine men underwent MRI examinations followed by needle oxygen measurements of tumor bearing region within prostate gland and five men further consented to biopsy. Median pO2 and hypoxic fraction < 5 mm Hg (HP5) were derived. Biopsies were immunostained for Carbonic Anhydrase IX (CA IX), Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 (HIF 1) and Glucose Transporter-1 (GLUT 1). Corresponding Regions-of-Interest (ROI) were delineated on T2-weighted (T2w) MRI by two observers. Median R2* was calculated for each ROI. Spearman correlation was calculated between R2* and HP5/pO2.

Results: MRI quality evaluation resulted in exclusion of 4/18 ROI due to motion (n = 2) and rectal air susceptibility artifact (n = 2). Quality of remaining data was validated by concordance of R2* with T2w, indices and with secondary observer R2* (r = 0.94, p = 0.005). Correlation was observed between R2* and HP5 (r = 0.76, p = 0.02) and a trend was noted between R2* and pO2 (r = -0.66, p = 0.07). GLUT 1 and HIF 1 were expressed in all patients, and CA IX was expressed in one patient with high HP5 (77%) and low pO2 (1.4 mm Hg).

Conclusions: MRI using R2* quantification is a promising tool for non-invasive imaging of prostate cancer hypoxia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Biopsy
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electrodes
  • Humans
  • Immunochemistry
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Quality Control
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers
  • Oxygen