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Determination of portal vein tumor thrombus blood supply using in vivo cellular magnetic resonance imaging in a rabbit model

Authors Zhang X, Wu B, Guo Z, Gao Y, Xi W, Yu H, Feng G, Zhang J, Shen W, Chen J

Received 6 December 2018

Accepted for publication 5 May 2019

Published 18 June 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 5523—5529

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S197231

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Beicheng Sun


Xiuming Zhang,1,* Bei Wu,1,* Zhen Guo,1 Yang Gao,1 Wei Xi,1 Hui Yu,1 Guodong Feng,1 Jingyuan Zhang,2 Wenrong Shen,1 Jun Chen1

1Department of Radiology, Jiangsu Cancer Hospital, Jiangsu Institute of Cancer Research and Cancer Hospital of Nanjing Medical University (NMU), Nanjing 210009, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Pathology, Jiangsu Cancer Hospital, Jiangsu Institute of Cancer Research and The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Nanjing Medical University (NMU), Nanjing 210009, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the anatomic configuration of the blood vessels that contribute to portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT), a common complication of hepatocellular carcinoma, in VX2 rabbits.
Materials and methods: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNCs) were isolated and labeled using superparamagnetic iron oxide particles in vitro. Twenty-four rabbits were injected with the VX2 tumor via the portal vein to establish the PVTT model. The rabbits (n=6/treatment group) were randomly assigned into four groups. Rabbits of groups A, B and C received an infusion of iron-labeled MNCs via the hepatic artery, the portal vein or the auricular vein, respectively, whereas rabbits of group D received an injection of normal saline via the auricular vein 7 days after the injection of VX2 tumors. MRI was performed, and the signal intensity (SI) of the PVTTs was measured on T2-weighted images (T2WIs) 1 day after the transfusion of iron-labeled cells.
Results: The SI of PVTTs, as measured on T2WIs, in rabbits of groups A, B, C and D was 241.400 (172.350, 364.825), 221.150 (203.775, 318.225), 590.200 (363.325, 728.875) and 568.050 (474.725, 705.150), respectively. Our data showed a significant decrease in the SI of PVTTs in rabbits of groups A and B compared with rabbits of groups C and D (group A vs group C, U=4.000, p=0.025; group A vs group D, U=2.000, p=0.010; group B vs group C, U=4.000, p=0.025; group B vs group D, U=1.000, p=0.006). There was no significant difference in the SI of PVTTs in rabbits of group A and B.
Conclusion: Our results indicated that the portal vein and the hepatic artery supplied blood flow to the PVTT in rabbits.

Keywords: portal vein tumor thrombus, magnetic resonance imaging, mononuclear cells

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