Magnetic resonance imaging for detecting and treatment monitoring of orthotopic murine bladder tumor implants

J Urol. 1991 Jun;145(6):1297-301. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5347(17)38618-4.


We assessed the feasibility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for detection and treatment monitoring of early stage orthotopic murine bladder (MBT-2) tumor implants. Thirty mice were scheduled for imaging at six, 14, 18 and 21 days after tumor implantation. Using a volume imaging coil, MRI demonstrated very early orthotopic tumors, the detection of which would otherwise have been impossible by clinical signs only. Sequential accurate assessment of tumor size was achieved by inflation of the bladders with a fixed volume of Gadolinium-DTPA contrast. The presence of established MBT-2 intravesical tumors was confirmed by gross pathology and light microscopy of the corresponding whole mount bladder sections. Histological examination of the corresponding tumor specimens revealed the presence of transitional cell bladder carcinoma which correlated very well with the topography and depth of tumor involvement as indicated on MRI. The The mice tolerated repeated MR imaging well. Early tumors at day 14 were detectable on MRI (with serial tumor growth to day 21), with no clinical signs of disease. In a subsequent study, response to intravesical tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) immunotherapy was monitored with serial MRI. The serial MR images from six tumor-bearing mice (three controls and three TNF-alpha treated) have been selected to illustrate the consistent findings of this study. Sequential MRI scans of TNF-alpha treated mice revealed retardation of tumor growth that correlated well with the corresponding histologic examination. The orthotopic tumor and MRI model described is ideal for preclinical evaluation of new potential intravesical chemotherapy and immunotherapy agents.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravesical
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / therapy
  • Female
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / administration & dosage
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha