Two simple methods are presented that allow positive identification of the accuracy and precision of the microsphere technique and a quick verification of sphere entrapment in tumor vessels. A known flow of Ringer's solution from a motor-driven syringe is perfused through the rat's isolated systemic circulation from left ventricle to right atrium and collected in a funnel. Using this preparation, total blood flow in rats measured with radioactive microspheres injected into the left ventricle was 97% of actual flow. The coefficient of variation (standard deviation/mean) of the microsphere measurements was 0.22. In the same preparation, non-entrapment of microspheres in subcutaneous tumor nodules grown on a hind limb could be measured from the difference in counts collected in venous effluent before and after placement of a tourniquet proximal to the tumor. For example, in two types of transplantable carcinoma, we found non-entrapment of less than 0.1% of the injected microspheres. Such a shunt would correspond to less than 10% of microspheres entering a typical tumor nodule and, in turn, less than 10% underestimation of true flow to the tumor. These two techniques may be helpful to other investigators in testing the accuracy of microsphere methods in various small animal tumor models.


This is the author accepted manuscript of Chan R.C., Babbs C.F., Vetter R.J., Simple methods for determining the accuracy of tumor blood flow measurements using radioactive microspheres in rats, J. Pharmacol. Methods 10, 157-166, 1983. Copyright Elsevier, it is made available here CC-BY-NC-ND, and the version of record can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/0160-5402(83)90026-8.


Tumor blood flow; Microsphere technique

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