NMR Biomed 2002 Feb;15(1):28-36
Department of Radiology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
MRI detects changes in blood-oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) contrast in tumors caused by tumor oxygenating agents. These changes can be used to guide the design of improved tumor oxygenating treatments (TOXs). The conventional approach to detection of BOLD effects assumes that the water resonance is a single, homogeneously broadened Lorentzian line, and that changes in the T2* of this line owing to changes in deoxyhemoglobin are spectrally homogeneous. This model may not adequately describe BOLD contrast changes in complex water resonances that are often detected in tumors. The present work investigated: (a) whether changes in the water resonance in very small voxels caused by tumor oxygenating agents are spectrally inhomogeneous; and (b) whether high spectral and spatial resolution (HiSS) MRI of the water and fat resonances detects these changes more accurately than conventional gradient-recalled echo (GRE) imaging. Carbogen (95% oxygen, 5% CO2) was used to increase tumor oxygenation. In two tumor models [mammary adenocarcinoma (R3230Ac; n=5) and rhabdomyosarcoma (BA1112; n=5)] proton signals were often complex and inhomogeneously broadened. Spectrally inhomogeneous changes during carbogen breathing occurred in at least 10% of the R3230AC tumor voxels that responded to carbogen and 18% of BA1112 tumor voxels. The largest changes during carbogen breathing in many voxels occurred at frequencies that were significantly different from the frequency of the primary water peak. Carbogen-induced changes in proton T2* detected by simulated GRE and HiSS differed by more than 75% in 67% of voxels in R3230Ac tumors and in 65% of voxels in BA1112 tumors. The spectrally inhomogeneous effects of tumor oxygenating agents may reflect changes in sub-voxelar microenvironements and thus may be important for accurate evaluation of the effects of therapy.