PURPOSE: Assessing tumor vascular features including permeability and perfusion is essential for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The aim of this study was to compare fluorescence and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based vascular readouts in subcutaneously implanted tumors in mice by simultaneous dynamic measurement of tracer uptake using a hybrid fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT)/MRI system.
PROCEDURE: Vascular permeability was measured using a mixture of extravascular imaging agents, GdDOTA and the dye Cy5.5, and perfusion using a mixture of intravascular agents, Endorem and a fluorescent probe (Angiosense). Dynamic fluorescence reflectance imaging (dFRI) was integrated into the hybrid system for high temporal resolution.
RESULTS: Excellent correspondence between uptake curves of Cy5.5/GdDOTA and Endorem/Angiosense has been found with correlation coefficients R > 0.98. The two modalities revealed good agreement regarding permeability coefficients and centers-of-gravity of the imaging agent distribution.
CONCLUSION: The FMT/dFRI protocol presented is able to accurately map physiological processes and poses an attractive alternative to MRI for characterizing tumor neoangiogenesis.