Microvessel density of invasive breast cancer assessed by dynamic Gd-DTPA enhanced MRI

J Magn Reson Imaging. May-Jun 1997;7(3):461-4. doi: 10.1002/jmri.1880070302.


It has been postulated that the rapid enhancement demonstrated by breast carcinomas after administration of contrast media is a direct result of tumor angiogenesis. However, to date, little quantitative data have been published to support this view. A retrospective study has been undertaken to compare dynamic contrast-enhanced data obtained from 40 patients with microvessel density (MVD) evaluated in specimens immunohistochemically stained with a factor VIII related antigen. The dynamic data were analyzed quantitatively using both simple indices of enhancement and a two-compartment kinetic model. A moderate but significant correlation was demonstrated between initial enhancement and MVD, and this correlation strengthened when node-positive tumors were considered in isolation (r = .77, P < .0005). However, the data showed considerable variability. The enhancement characteristics of the tumors could not be explained solely by their MVD; therefore, MRI cannot be used to predict MVD in vivo. Further work is required to address the exact relationship between contrast-enhanced MRI and tumor angiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Microcirculation / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnosis*
  • Organometallic Compounds* / administration & dosage
  • Pentetic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Pentetic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Contrast Media
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Pentetic Acid
  • Gadolinium DTPA