Inspired gas-induced vascular change in tumors with magnetic-resonance-guided near-infrared imaging: human breast pilot study

J Biomed Opt. 2010 May-Jun;15(3):036026. doi: 10.1117/1.3430729.


This study investigates differences in the response of breast tumor tissue versus healthy fibroglandular tissue to inspired gases. Cycles of carbogen and oxygen gas are administered while measuring the changes with magnetic-resonance-guided near-infrared imaging in a pilot study of breast cancers. For two patients, analyses are performed with cross-correlation techniques, which measure the strength of hemodynamic modulation. The results show that the overall vasoresponse, indicated by total hemoglobin, of healthy tissue has approximately a 72% and 41% greater correlation to the gas stimulus than the tumor region, in two patients respectively, when background physiological changes are controlled. These data support the hypothesis that tumor vasculature has a poorly functioning vasodilatory mechanism, most likely caused by dysfunctional smooth muscle cells lining the vasculature. This study presents a methodology to quantitatively analyze inspired gas changes in human breast tumors, and demonstrates this technique in a pilot patient population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast / blood supply
  • Breast / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Carbon Dioxide / chemistry
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Inhalation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / chemistry
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / methods*


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • carbogen
  • Oxygen