Skip to Main Content
We present a multiple compartment, mammillary distributed-parameter model for capillary-tissue exchange, which can be implemented with dynamic contrast-enhanced imaging to study kinetic heterogeneity in tumors. The proposed n-compartment model consists of a vascular distributed-parameter compartment in direct exchange with a number (n-1) of interstitial compartments. It is applied to a prostate tumor case study to illustrate the possible co-existence of two kinetically distinct compartments in the tumor, and the estimation of useful physiological parameters (such as perfusion, mean transit time, fractional volumes, and transfer and rate constants) associated with tissue microcirculation. The present model exhibits the convenient property of a separable impulse residue response function in the time domain, which can be used to provide further insights and understanding on the physiological basis of tissue enhancement parameters commonly used for correlation studies with tumor histological diagnosis.