DCE-MRI: a review and applications in veterinary oncology



Dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) is a functional imaging technique that assesses the physiology of tumour tissue by exploiting abnormal tumour microvasculature. Advances made through DCE-MRI include improvement in the diagnosis of cancer, optimization of treatment choices, assessment of treatment efficacy and non-invasive identification of prognostic information. DCE-MRI enables quantitative assessment of tissue vessel density, integrity, and permeability, and this information can be applied to study of angiogenesis, hypoxia and the evaluation of various biomarkers. Reproducibility of DCE-MRI results is important in determining the significance of observed changes in the parameters. As improvements are made towards the utility of DCE-MRI and interpreting biologic associations, the technique will be applied more frequently in the study of cancer in animals. Given the importance of tumour perfusion with respect to tumour oxygenation and drug delivery, the use of DCE-MRI is a convenient and powerful way to gain basic information about a tumour.