Morphologic and hemodynamic comparison of tumor and healing normal tissue microvasculature

Mark W. Dewhirst, C. Y. Tso, Regina Oliver, Cindy S. Gustafson, Timothy W. Secomb, Joseph F. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to compare microvascular morphometric and hemodynamic characteristics of a tumor and granulating normal tissue to develop quantitative data that could be used to predict microvascular characteristics which would be most likely associated with hypoxia. The dorsal flap window chamber of the Fisher 344 rat was used to visualize the microvasculature of 10 granulating and 12 tumor (R3230 AC adenocarcinoma) tissues at 2 weeks following surgical implantation of the chamber. Morphometric measurements were made from photomontages and video techniques were used to assess red cell velocities in individual vessels. The percent vascular volume of both tissues was close to 20%, but significant differences were noted in other morphometric and hemodynamic measurements. Individual vessel dimensions (length and diameter) in tumors averaged twice as large as those in granulating tissues. Furthermore, red cell velocities were twice as high in tumors as in granulating tissues. In addition to these large differences in average values, there was significant heterogeneity in tumor microvascular morphometry, indicating spatial nonuniformity compared with the granulating tissue. Approximations of vessel spacing, indicated an average of 257 and 118 microns in tumors and granulating tissues, respectively. Vessel densities were four times greater in granulating tissues than in tumor tissues. These results indicated that intervessel distances were more likely to result in hypoxia in tumors, especially considering the wide variability in that tissue. Analysis of flow branching patterns showed that vascular shunts occurred frequently in vessels ranging from 10 to 910 microns in diameter. The results of this study indicate, in this tumor model, that conditions such as low vascular, density, vascular shunts, excessive vascular length and/or low red cell velocity exist to a greater extent than the granulating tissue control. These conditions are likely to be conducive to the development of hypoxia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1989


  • Heterogeneity
  • Hypoxia
  • Microcirculation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Morphologic and hemodynamic comparison of tumor and healing normal tissue microvasculature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this