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Surgery. 1988 Sep;104(3):512-7.

Effect of photodynamic therapy on blood flow in normal and tumor vessels.

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Department of Surgery, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, School of Medicine 40292.


The aim of this series of experiments was to determine the dynamic blood flow changes that occur in normal and neoplastic tissues during photodynamic therapy. Mice bearing SMT-F tumors and rats with transplanted chondrosarcomas were injected with graded doses of dihematoporphyrin ether. Studies of changes in single-vessel and whole-tumor blood flow were carried out with 630 nm light activation. A helium neon laser Doppler velocimeter was used to stimulate dihematoporphyrin ether, as well as to measure changes in flow velocity in both single-vessel and whole-tumor models. There was a reduction of flow velocity in all vessels and tumors in animals injected with 1 to 40 mg/kg dihematoporphyrin ether intraperitoneally. The extent of flow reduction was related to drug dose administered. Decreases in blood flow began within 10 seconds of light stimulation and were maximal within 5 minutes. Both normal and tumor vessels responded similarly. We conclude that photodynamic therapy leads to significant microcirculatory changes that may be pertinent to the mechanism of tumor necrosis.

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