Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
For meningiomas in which complete resection is impossible stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy are increasingly important therapeutical options. The radiosensitivity of meningiomas may be improved by increasing tumor oxygen levels. Hyperoxygenating agents, like breathing a hyperoxic hypercapnic gas mixture, have already been applied successfully in the treatment of other tumors. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of breathing a hyperoxic hypercapnic gas mixture on tumor blood oxygenation of meningiomas using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods. Three patients with convexity meningiomas were each measured twice; with and without breathing the hyperoxic hypercapnic gas mixture. Tumor blood oxygenation changes were measured using blood oxygen level dependent MR imaging. Dynamic contrast enhanced MRI was used to assess functional changes of tumor vasculature. A significant increase in tumor blood oxygenation was observed under hypercapnic hyperoxic conditions in all patients, exceeding the increase in normal brain tissue. It was concluded that the oxygenation status of meningiomas can be improved by breathing a hyperoxic hypercapnic gas mixture.