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Study of the intra-arterial distribution of Fe3O4 nanoparticles in a model of colorectal neoplasm induced in rat liver by MRI and spectrometry

Authors Echevarria-Uraga JJ, García-Alonso, Plazaola, Insausti, Etxebarria, Saiz-López A, Fernández-Ruanova

Received 29 February 2012

Accepted for publication 27 March 2012

Published 9 May 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 2399—2410


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

José J Echevarria-Uraga,1 Ignacio García-Alonso,2 Fernando Plazaola,3 Maite Insausti,3 Néstor Etxebarria,3 Alberto Saiz-López,4 Begoña Fernández-Ruanova5

1Radiology Department, Hospital de Galdakao-Usánsolo, Bizkaia, Spain; 2Experimental Surgery Laboratory, Medicine Faculty, University of the Basque Country, Bizkaia, Spain; 3Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque Country, Bizkaia, Spain; 4Pathology Department, Hospital de Galdakao-Usánsolo, Bizkaia, Spain; 5Osatek SA Unidad del Hospital de Galdakao-Usánsolo, Bizkaia, Spain

Purpose: To evaluate, in an experimental model, the reliability of MRI for determining whether a higher iron concentration was obtained in tumor tissue than in normal liver parenchyma after intra-arterial administration of Fe3O4 lipophilic nanoparticles.
Materials and methods: WAG/RijCrl rats were inoculated in the left hepatic lobe with 25,000 syngeneic CC-531 colon adenocarcinoma cells, after which they were randomized into two groups: control (CG) and infused (IG). After confirming tumor induction, the IG rats received intra-arterial suspensions of Fe3O4 nanoparticles (2.6 mg) in Lipiodol® (0.15 mL). To calculate the iron concentration, [Fe], in the tumor and liver tissues of both groups of rats, measurements of signal intensity from the tumors, healthy liver tissue, and paravertebral muscles were made on a 1.5T MRI system in gradient-echo DP* and T2*-weighted sequences. In addition, samples were collected to quantify the [Fe] by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), as well as for histological analysis. Statistical analysis was performed with non-parametric tests, and Bland–Altman plots were produced; P values <0.05 were considered significant.
Results: In the CG rats (n = 23), the mean [Fe] values estimated by MRI and ICP-MS were 13.2 µmol • g-1 and 5.9 µmol • g-1, respectively, in the tumors, and 19.0 µmol • g-1 and 11.7 µmol • g-1, respectively, in the hepatic tissue. In the IG rats (n = 19), the values obtained by MRI and ICP-MS were 148.9 µmol • g-1 and 9.4 µmol • g-1, respectively, in the tumors, and 115.3 µmol • g-1 and 11.6 µmol • g-1, respectively, in the healthy liver tissue. The IG results revealed a clear disagreement between MRI and ICP-MS. In the comparative analysis between the groups regarding the [Fe] values obtained by ICP-MS, significant differences were found for the tumor samples (P < 0.001), but not for the hepatic tissue (P = 0.92). Under microscopy, scattered intravascular deposits of nanoparticles were observed, especially in the tumors.
Conclusion: ICP-MS demonstrated significant uptake of exogenous iron in tumor tissue. MRI was useful for quantifying the [Fe] in the different tissues in the CG animals, but not in the IG animals. Although the irregular distribution of nanoparticles caused an important bias in the measurements obtained by MRI, the relative increase in iron content inside the tumor was suggested.

Keywords: liver neoplasm, hepatic arterial infusion, ferromagnetic particle, iron concentration, MRI, spectrometry

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