Rationale and Objectives: The purpose of this pilot study was to establish the ability of dynamic contrast enhanced computed tomography (DCE-CT) to detect changes in tumor blood flow (BF) and oxygenation induced by vasoactive substances in rats. +Materials and Methods: Under ultrasound guidance, a fiber-optic probe was guided into thigh tumors in eight rats and attached to an oxygenation/blood flow-sensing device. A DCE-CT sequence was acquired at the oxygen-sensing probe tip during injection of iodinated contrast media. Group 1 rats (n=6) were administered a vasodilator (hydralazine, 5mg/kg i.v.) and group 2 rats (n=2) were given physiologic saline in a similar volume. DCE-CT was repeated at the probe tip after 30min. BF in the whole tumor and at the probe tip were estimated pre- and post-drug administration and the percentage change was calculated. +Results: DCE-CT defined significant differences between pre- and post-drug BF in the whole tumor (p=0.007) and at the probe tip (p=0.03). Estimates of percentage change in BF in the whole tumor agreed with fiber-optic measure of percentage change perfusion (r 2=0.60; p=0.02) and pO 2 (r 2=0.65; p=0.02). Estimates of percentage change in BF at the probe tip agreed with fiber-optic measures of percentage change in perfusion (r 2=0.83; p=0.001) and pO 2 (r 2=0.62; p=0.02). +Conclusions: Preliminary results indicate that DCE-CT is capable of identifying alterations in tumor BF in rats. The percentage change in BF agrees with a validated estimate of tumor perfusion and oxygenation. This research technique may prove useful for assessment of tumor BF during combined chemotherapeutic and radiation therapy to improve outcome.
- Dynamic contrast CT
- Tumor blood flow
- Tumor oxygenation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging