MRI-Based Assessment of Brain Tumor Hypoxia: Correlation with Histology

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Abstract

Cerebral hypoxia significantly impacts the progression of brain tumors and their resistance to radiotherapy. This study employed streamlined quantitative blood-oxygen-level-dependent (sqBOLD) MRI to assess the oxygen extraction fraction (OEF)-a measure of how much oxygen is being extracted from vessels, with higher OEF values indicating hypoxia. Simultaneously, we utilized vessel size imaging (VSI) to evaluate microvascular dimensions and blood volume. A cohort of ten patients, divided between those with glioma and those with brain metastases, underwent a 3 Tesla MRI scan. We generated OEF, cerebral blood volume (CBV), and vessel size maps, which guided 3-4 targeted biopsies per patient. Subsequent histological analyses of these biopsies used hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α) for hypoxia and CD31 for microvasculature assessment, followed by a correlation analysis between MRI and histological data. The results showed that while the sqBOLD model was generally applicable to brain tumors, it demonstrated discrepancies in some metastatic tumors, highlighting the need for model adjustments in these cases. The OEF, CBV, and vessel size maps provided insights into the tumor's hypoxic condition, showing intertumoral and intratumoral heterogeneity. A significant relationship between MRI-derived measurements and histological data was only evident in the vessel size measurements (r = 0.68, p < 0.001).

Original languageEnglish
Article number138
JournalCancers
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2023

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Publisher Copyright: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

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