Yttrium-90 Radioembolization and Tumor Hypoxia: Gas-challenge BOLD Imaging in the VX2 Rabbit Model of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Andrew C. Gordon*, Sarah B. White, Vanessa L. Gates, Daniel Procissi, Kathleen R. Harris, Yihe Yang, Zhuoli Zhang, Weiguo Li, Tianchu Lyu, Xiaoke Huang, Reed A. Omary, Riad Salem, Robert J. Lewandowski, Andrew C. Larson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives: To use a rapid gas-challenge blood oxygen-level dependent magnetic resonance imaging exam to evaluate changes in tumor hypoxia after 90Y radioembolization (Y90) in the VX2 rabbit model. Materials and Methods: White New Zealand rabbits (n = 11) provided a Y90 group (n = 6 rabbits) and untreated control group (n = 5 rabbits). R2* maps were generated with gas-challenges (O2/room air) at baseline, 1 week, and 2 weeks post-Y90. Laboratory toxicity was evaluated at baseline, 24 hours, 72 hours, 1 hours, and 2 weeks. Histology was used to evaluate tumor necrosis on hematoxylin and eosin and immunofluorescence imaging was used to assess microvessel density (CD31) and proliferative index (Ki67). Results: At baseline, median tumor volumes and time to imaging were similar between groups (p = 1.000 and p = 0.4512, respectively). The median administered dose was 50.4 Gy (95% confidence interval:44.8–55.9). At week 2, mean tumor volumes were 5769.8 versus 643.7 mm3 for control versus Y90 rabbits, respectively (p = 0.0246). At two weeks, ΔR2* increased for control tumors to 12.37 ± 12.36sec−1 and decreased to 4.48 ± 9.00sec−1 after Y90. The Pearson correlation coefficient for ΔR2* at baseline and percent increase in tumor size by two weeks was 0.798 for the Y90 group (p = 0.002). There was no difference in mean microvessel density for control versus Y90 treated tumors (p = 0.6682). The mean proliferative index was reduced in Y90 treated tumors at 30.5% versus 47.5% for controls (p = 0.0071). Conclusion: The baseline ΔR2* of tumors prior to Y90 may be a predictive imaging biomarker of tumor response and treatment of these tumors with Y90 may influence tumor oxygenation over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-858
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Hepatic radioembolization
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Oxygenation
  • Yttrium-90

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Yttrium-90 Radioembolization and Tumor Hypoxia: Gas-challenge BOLD Imaging in the VX2 Rabbit Model of Hepatocellular Carcinoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this