Dynamic contrast-enhanced CT for the assessment of tumour response in malignant pleural mesothelioma: a pilot study

Eur Radiol. 2019 Feb;29(2):682-688. doi: 10.1007/s00330-018-5533-9. Epub 2018 Jul 2.


Objectives: The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the utility of haemodynamic parameters derived from dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography (DCE-CT) scans in the assessment of tumour response to treatment in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) patients.

Methods: The patient cohort included nine patients undergoing chemotherapy and five patients on observation. Each patient underwent two DCE-CT scans separated by approximately 2 months. The DCE-CT parameters of tissue blood flow (BF) and tissue blood volume (BV) were obtained within the dynamically imaged tumour. Mean relative changes in tumour DCE-CT parameters between scans were compared between the on-treatment and on-observation cohorts. DCE-CT parameter changes were correlated with relative change in tumour bulk evaluated according to the modified RECIST protocol.

Results: Differing trends in relative change in BF and BV between scans were found between the two patient groups (p = 0.19 and p = 0.06 for BF and BV, respectively). No significant rank correlations were found when comparing relative changes in DCE-CT parameters with relative change in tumour bulk.

Conclusions: Differing trends in the relative change of BF and BV between patients on treatment and on observation indicate the potential of DCE-CT for the assessment of pharmacodynamic endpoints with respect to treatment in MPM. A future study with a larger patient cohort and unified treatment regimens should be undertaken to confirm the results of this pilot study.

Key points: • CT-derived haemodynamic parameters show differing trends between malignant pleural mesothelioma patients on treatment and patients off treatment • Changes in haemodynamic parameters do not correlate with changes in tumour bulk as measured according to the modified RECIST protocol • Differing trends across the two patient groups indicate the potential sensitivity of DCE-CT to assess pharmacodynamic endpoints in the treatment of MPM.

Keywords: Haemodynamics; Mesothelioma; Multidetector computed tomography; Perfusion imaging; Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / blood supply
  • Mesothelioma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Mesothelioma / drug therapy*
  • Mesothelioma / pathology
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pleural Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Pleural Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / pathology
  • Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed / methods
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents