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Perfusion characteristics of late radiation injury of parotid glands: quantitative evaluation with dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI

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Abstract

We aimed to quantitatively investigate the alteration of parotid perfusion after irradiation using dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) based on a two-compartment tracer kinetic model. This study enrolled 19 patients (53.2 ± 14.9 years) treated by head and neck radiotherapy and 19 age-relevant and sex-matched subjects as a control group. Perfusion parameters (K el , k 21 and A) of parotid glands were analyzed based on the Brix model from T1-weighted DCE-MRI. Suitability of the Brix model was evaluated via Monte Carlo simulation for the goodness-of-fit. Analysis of nonlinear goodness-of-fit showed that the Brix model is appropriate in evaluating the parotid perfusion (R2 = 0.938 ± 0.050). The irradiated parotid glands showed significantly lower K el (P < 0.0005) and k 21 (P < 0.05) and consequently significantly higher value of peak enhancement (P < 0.0005) and time-to-peak (P < 0.0005) compared with non-irradiated ones, suggestive of gradual and prolonged accumulation and delayed wash-out of contrast agent due to increased extracellular extravascular space and decreased vascular permeability in the irradiated glands. Linear regression analysis showed dose-dependent perfusion changes of the irradiated parotid glands. We conclude that quantitative DCE-MRI is a potential tool in investigating parotid gland perfusion changes after radiotherapy.

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Acknowledgment

The authors express gratitude to Miss Shih-I Tsao for MR data archiving and reference preparation.

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Correspondence to Hsiao-Wen Chung.

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Juan, CJ., Chen, CY., Jen, YM. et al. Perfusion characteristics of late radiation injury of parotid glands: quantitative evaluation with dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI. Eur Radiol 19, 94–102 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00330-008-1104-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00330-008-1104-9

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