Vasomodulation of tumor blood flow: Effect on perfusion and thermal ablation size

Hanping Wu, Agata A. Exner, Tianyi M. Krupka, Brent D. Weinberg, John R. Haaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Blood flow is a key factor in the efficacy of radiofrequency (RF) ablation treatment of solid tumors. We hypothesized that vasoactive drugs can modulate tumor blood flow and thereby improve the outcome of this thermal ablation approach. To verify this hypothesis, we measured the tumor perfusion changes in response to phenylephrine (PE) and hydralazine (HYZ) using a CT perfusion method in a rat subcutaneous tumor model. The coagulation sizes induced by RF ablation alone, RF ablation with PE and RF ablation with HYZ were compared. Results demonstrated that HYZ produced a marked decrease in entire tumor and tumor rim blood flow of 31.1 and 29.1%; while PE insignificantly change tumor blood flow (5.1% decrease in whole tumor and 6.0% decrease in tumor rim). A markedly greater coagulation area (0.59 cm2 ± 0.24) was observed when HYZ was administered before RF ablation. No difference was noted in the coagulation area induced by RF ablation alone or the combination of PE injection followed by RF ablation (0.29 cm2 ± 0.13 vs. 0.30 cm 2 ± 0.18). Results suggest that HYZ decreases subcutaneous tumor blood flow and enhances the coagulation size induced by RF ablation. PE has little influence on tumor blood flow and does not improve ablation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)552-564
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood flow
  • CT perfusion
  • Hydralazine
  • Phenylephrine
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Vasomodulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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