Assessment of tumor microcirculation with dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI in patients with esophageal cancer: Initial experience

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PurposeTo investigate the feasibility and impact of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) on tumor characterization and response to radiochemotherapy (RCT) in patients with esophageal cancer.Materials and MethodsA total of 48 patients underwent DCE-MRI to assess tumor microcirculation based on a two-compartment model function. Effects of RCT on kinetic parameters were studied in 12 patients with squamous cell carcinoma.ResultsTumor microcirculation differs with respect to histological subtype: squamous cell carcinomas showed lower values of amplitude A (leakage space, P = 0.015) and higher contrast agent exchange rates (k21, P = 0.225) compared with adenocarcinomas. RCT led to a significant decrease of the contrast agent exchange rate (P = 0.005), while amplitude A increased moderately after therapy (P = 0.136).ConclusionDCE-MRI is feasible in patients with esophageal cancer, reveals therapeutic effects, and may thus be useful in therapy management and monitoring. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2008;27:1296–1301. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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