To investigate the relationship between the tumour volume and metabolic rates of astrocytic tumours using MR spectroscopy (MRS) during radiation therapy (RT).
12 healthy male Sprague-Dawley® rats (Sprague-Dawley Animal Company, Madison, WI) were used, and a tumour model was created through injecting C6 tumour cells into the right caudate nuclei of the rats. Tumours grew for 18 days after the injection and before the imaging study and radiation treatment. MRS was performed with two-dimensional multivoxel point-resolved spectroscopy sequence using a GE Signa VH/i 3.0-T MR scanner (GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI) equipped with rat-special coil. RT was given on the 19th day with a dose of 4 Gy in one single fraction. The image examinations were performed before RT, and on the 4th, 10th, 14th and 20th days after treatment, respectively. GE FuncTool software package (GE Healthcare) was used for post-processing of spectrum.
Metabolic ratios of serial MRS decrease progressively with time after RT. Choline-containing components (Cho)/creatine and creatine phosphate (Cr) ratios immediately prior to RT differed significantly from those on the 10th, 14th and 20th days after RT; both Cho/N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) ratios and NAA/Cr ratios immediately prior to RT differed significantly from those on the 14th and 20th days after RT. A positive correlation between changes of tumour volume and changes of Cho/Cr, lipid and lactate/Cr and glutamate plus glutamine/Cr ratio was observed on the 4th day after RT.
MRS provides potential in monitoring tumour response during RT, and the imaging biomarkers predict the response of astrocytic tumours to treatment.
ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE
MRS is combined with both tumour size and Ki-67 labelling index to access tumour response to radiation.
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