Effect of microvascular distribution and its density on interstitial fluid pressure in solid tumors: A computational model

Microvasc Res. 2015 Sep;101:26-32. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2015.06.001. Epub 2015 Jun 17.


Solid tumors with different microvascular densities (MVD) have been shown to have different outcomes in clinical studies. Other studies have demonstrated the significant correlation between high MVD, elevated interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) and metastasis in cancers. Elevated IFP in solid tumors prevents drug macromolecules reaching most cancerous cells. To overcome this barrier, antiangiogenesis drugs can reduce MVD within the tumor and lower IFP. A quantitative approach is essential to compute how much reduction in MVD is required for a specific tumor to reach a desired amount of IFP for drug delivery purposes. Here we provide a computational framework to investigate how IFP is affected by the tumor size, the MVD, and location of vessels within the tumor. A general physiologically relevant tumor type with a heterogenous vascular structure surrounded by normal tissue is utilized. Then the continuity equation, Darcy's law, and Starling's equation are applied in the continuum mechanics model, which can calculate IFP for different cases of solid tumors. High MVD causes IFP elevation in solid tumors, and IFP distribution correlates with microvascular distribution within tumor tissue. However, for tumors with constant MVD but different microvascular structures, the average values of IFP were found to be the same. Moreover, for a constant MVD and vascular distribution, an increase in tumor size leads to increased IFP.

Keywords: Angiogenesis; Image based; Interstitial fluid pressure; Microvascular density; Vascular morphology.

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Vessels
  • Computer Simulation
  • Extracellular Fluid*
  • Humans
  • Microcirculation*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Pressure
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors