Original communication| Volume 106, ISSUE 1, P94-99, July 1989

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The effect of photodynamic therapy on tumor oxygenation

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      Oxygen microelectrodes were used to measure tumor partial pressure of oxygen (Po2) before and after photodynamic therapy (PDT) in a rat transplantable subcutaneous chondrosarcoma. Before PDT there was a gradient of Po2 from the superficial layers of the tumor (Po2 = 46 ± 6 mm Hg) toward the center of the tumor (Po2 = 10 ± 1 mm Hg). Mean tumor Po2 (21 ± 2 mm Hg) was significantly reduced to 3 ± 1 mm Hg 1 hour after PDT, and this reduction in Po2 persisted 4 hours (8 ± 2 mm Hg) and 24 hours (6 ± 1 mm Hg) after PDT. The largest percentage decrease in Po2 occurred at a depth of only 50 μm into the tumor. Inasmuch as PDT has been shown to decrease blood flow, our data suggest that PDT actions on blood vessels in the peripheral areas of the tumor are of major importance for eliciting the tumor hypoxia that contributes to tumor necrosis after PDT.
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