Article reference:

M. Egmont-Petersen, P.C.W. Hogendoorn, R.v.d.Geest, H.A. Vrooman, H.-J.v.d. Woude, J.P. Janssen, J.L. Bloem, J.H.C. Reiber. "Detection of areas with viable remnant tumor in postchemotherapy patients with Ewing's sarcoma by dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI using pharmacokinetic modeling," Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp. 525-535, 2000.


An approach is presented for monitoring the effects of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with Ewing's sarcoma using dynamic contrast-enhanced perfusion magnetic resonance (MR) images. For that purpose, we modify the three-compartment pharmacokinetic permeability model introduced by Tofts et al. (Magn Reson Med 1991;17:357-67) to a two-compartment model. Perfusion MR images acquired using an intravenous injection with Gadolinium (Gd-DTPA) are analyzed with this two-compartment pharmacokinetic model as well as the with an extended pharmacokinetic model that includes the (local) arrival time t(o) of the tracer as an endogenous (estimated) parameter. For each MR section, a wash-in parameter associated with each voxel is estimated twice by fitting each of the two pharmacokinetic models to the dynamic MR signal. A comparison of the two wash-in parametric images (global versus local arrival time) with matched histologic macroslices demonstrates a good correspondence between areas with viable remnant tumor and a high wash-in rate. This can be explained by the high number and permeability of the (leaking) capillaries in viable tumor tissue. The novel pharmacokinetic model based on a local arrival time of tracer results in the best fit of the wash-in rate, the most important factor discerning viable from nonviable tumor components, However, parameter estimates obtained with this model are also more sensitive to noise in the MR signal, The novel pharmacokinetic model resulted in a sensitivity between 0.22 and 0.60 and a specificity between 0.61 and 1. The model based on a global arrival time gave sensitivities between 0.33 and 0.77 and specificities between 0.58 and 0.99. Both statistics are computed as the fraction of correctly labeled voxels (viable or nonviable tumor) within a specified ROI, which delineates the tumor. We conclude that the added value of estimating the local arrival time of tracer first manifests itself for moderate noise levels in the MR signal. The novel pharmacokinetic model should moreover be preferred when pharmacokinetic modeling is applied on the average signal intensity within a ROI, where noise has less effect on the fitted parameters.

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