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Keywords:

  • blood oxygen level dependent angiography;
  • tumour angiogenesis;
  • vasculature;
  • tumour metastasis;
  • intracranial hemorrhage;
  • MRI

Clinically, development of anti-angiogenic drugs for cancer therapy is pivotal. Longitudinal monitoring of tumour angiogenesis can help clinicians determine the effectiveness of anti-angiogenic therapy. Blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) effect has been widely used for functional imaging and tumour oxygenation assessment. In this study, the BOLD effect is investigated under different levels of oxygen inhalation for the development of a novel angiographic MRI technique, blood oxygen level dependent angiography (BOLDangio). Under short-term (<10 min) generalized hypoxia induced by inhalation of 8% oxygen, we measure BOLD contrast as high as 25% from vessels at 9.4T using a simple gradient echo (GRE) pulse sequence. This produces high-resolution 2D and 3D maps of normal and tumour brain vasculature in less than 10 minutes. Additionally, this technique reliably detects metastatic tumours and tumour-induced intracranial hemorrhage. BOLDangio provides a sensitive research tool for MRI of vasculature under normal and pathological conditions. Thus, it may be applied as a simple monitoring technique for measuring the effectiveness of anti-angiogenic drugs in a preclinical environment. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.