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


  • K. Oberholzer
  • A. Pohlmann
  • W. Schreiber
  • P. Mildenberger
  • P. Kunz
  • H. Schmidberger
  • T. Junginger
  • C. Dueber


  • Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • J Magn Reson Imaging 27 (6): 1296-1301


  • PURPOSE: To 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 METHODS: A 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. RESULTS: Tumor 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 (k(21), 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). CONCLUSION: DCE-MRI is feasible in patients with esophageal cancer, reveals therapeutic effects, and may thus be useful in therapy management and monitoring.