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This pilot study investigated the feasibility of using MRI based on BOLD (blood-oxygen-level-dependent) contrast to detect physiological effects of locally induced hyperthermia in a rodent tumor model. Nude mice bearing AT6.1 rodent prostate tumors inoculated in the hind leg were imaged using a 9.4 T scanner using a multi-gradient echo pulse sequence to acquire high spectral and spatial resolution (HiSS) data. Temperature increases of approximately 6 °C were produced in tumor tissue using fiber-optic-guided light from a 250 W halogen lamp. HiSS data were acquired over three slices through the tumor and leg both prior to and during heating. Water spectra were produced from these datasets for each voxel at each time point. Time-dependent changes in water resonance peak width were measured during 15 min of localized tumor heating. The results demonstrated that hyperthermia produced both significant increases and decreases in water resonance peak width. Average decreases in peak width were significantly larger in the tumor rim than in normal muscle (p = 0.04). The effect of hyperthermia in tumor was spatially heterogeneous, i.e. the standard deviation of the change in peak width was significantly larger in the tumor rim than in normal muscle (p = 0.005). Therefore, mild hyperthermia produces spatially heterogeneous changes in water peak width in both tumor and muscle. This may reflect heterogeneous effects of hyperthermia on local oxygenation. The peak width changes in tumor and muscle were significantly different, perhaps due to abnormal tumor vasculature and metabolism. Response to hyperthermia measured by MRI may be useful for identifying and/or characterizing suspicious lesions as well as guiding the development of new hyperthermia protocols.

Original publication




Journal article


Phys Med Biol

Publication Date





2653 - 2666


Animals, Hyperthermia, Induced, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Mice, Oxygen, Pilot Projects, Prostatic Neoplasms