Spectral imaging facilitates visualization and measurements of unstable and abnormal microvascular oxygen transport in tumors.
Abnormal microvasculature contributes to the pathophysiologic microenvironment of tumors. Understanding microvascular tumor oxygen transport is necessary to comprehend the factors that influence tumor biology, physiology, and therapy. Previously, we described an in vivo spectral imaging microscopy system for measurements of microvessel hemoglobin saturation (HbSat). We measure temporal fluctuations and spatial gradients in tumor microvessel oxygenation and identify instances of anastomoses between vessels with significantly different oxygenations. Slow periodic fluctuations in HbSat <0.2 cycles per minute were observed. These measurements are consistent with microelectrode measurements of fluctuating tumor oxygenation. Gradients in HbSat along individual tumor microvessels were measured that were larger in magnitude than normal tissue microvessels. Images were captured of anastomoses of tumor microvessels with diameters 20%). Shunting of inspired oxygen, presumably due to arteriovenous anastomoses, from tumor feeding arterioles to adjacent venules was imaged. This effect was confined to a region around the tumor and was not observed in nearby normal microvessels. Imaging measurements of tumor microvessel oxygen transport may offer insight to current questions regarding oxygen-related tumor biology and treatment responses, and spectral imaging may be a useful research tool in this regard.
Sorg, BS; Hardee, ME; Agarwal, N; Moeller, BJ; Dewhirst, MW
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