The effect of flow on blood oxygen level dependent (R*2) MRI of orthotopic lung tumors

Heling Zhou, Olivier Belzile, Zhang Zhang, Jo Wagner, Chul Ahn, James A. Richardson, Debabrata Saha, Rolf A. Brekken, Ralph P. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: Blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) MRI based on R*2 measurements can provide insights into tumor vascular oxygenation. However, measurements are susceptible to blood flow, which may vary accompanying a hyperoxic gas challenge. We investigated flow sensitivity by comparing R*2 measurements with and without flow suppression (fs) in 2 orthotopic lung xenograft tumor models. Methods: H460 (n = 20) and A549 (n = 20) human lung tumor xenografts were induced by surgical implantation of cancer cells in the right lung of nude rats. MRI was performed at 4.7T after tumors reached 5 to 8 mm in diameter. A multiecho gradient echo MRI sequence was acquired with and without spatial saturation bands on each side of the imaging plane to evaluate the effect of flow on R*2. fs and non-fs R*2 MRI measurements were interleaved during an oxygen breathing challenge (from air to 100% O2). T*2-weighted signal intensity changes (ΔSI(%)) and R*2 measurements were obtained for regions of interest and on a voxel-by-voxel basis and discrepancies quantified with Bland–Altman analysis. Results: Flow suppression affected ΔSI(%) and R*2 measurements in each tumor model. Average discrepancy and limits of agreement from Bland–Altman analyses revealed greater flow-related bias in A549 than H460. Conclusion: The effect of flow on R*2, and hence BOLD, was tumor model dependent with measurements being more sensitive in well-perfused A549 tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3787-3797
Number of pages11
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD)
  • flow-suppression
  • hypoxia
  • lung cancer
  • oxygen-sensitive MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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