Quantitative magnetization transfer MRI of desmoplasia in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma xenografts

Weiguo Li, Zhuoli Zhang, Jodi Nicolai, Guang Yu Yang, Reed A. Omary, Andrew C. Larson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Quantitative assessment of desmoplasia in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) may be critical for staging or prediction of response to therapy. We performed quantitative magnetization transfer (qMT) MRI measurements in 18 mouse xenograft tumors generated from three PDAC cell lines. The qMT parameter bound proton fraction (BPF) was found to be significantly higher in tumors grown using the BxPC-3 cell line (5.31±0.87, mean±standard deviation) compared with the BPF measured for tumors grown from Panc-1 (3.65±0.60) and Capan-1 (1.50±0.58) cell lines (P<0.05 for each comparison). Histologic measurements demonstrated a similar trend; BxPC-3 tumors had significantly higher fibrosis levels (percentage of fibrotic tissue area, 6.21±2.10) compared with Panc-1 (2.88±1.13) and Capan-1 (1.69±1.01) tumors. BPF was well correlated with quantitative fibrosis levels (r=0.77, P<0.01). Our results indicate that qMT measurements offer the potential to noninvasively quantify fibrosis levels in PDAC mouse xenograft models and thus serve as a valuable in vivo biomarker of desmoplasia in PDAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1688-1695
Number of pages8
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • Bound proton fraction
  • Desmoplasia
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Quantitative magnetization transfer
  • Xenograft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy

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