Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was first applied to the evaluation of breast parenchyma in the late 1980s, mainly in women with proven carcinomas. Heywang and coworkers (1986) discovered that breast cancer is associated with significant enhancement following the intravenous injection of contrast medium (gadolinium dimeglumine, e.g., Gd-DTPA). The pathophysiological basis of this enhancement has been extensively investigated. Folkman first described the biological rule of capillary vessels for the nutrition of normal tissues and arrived at the discovery that malignant tissues need a supplementary inflow of nutritional factors. For this reason, they are able to release some specific proteins that induce new vessel growth (vascular endothelial growth factor, VEGF) (Folkman 1985, Folkman et al. 1987; Folkman 2002; Weidner et al. 1991; Hanahan et al. 1996; Gimbrone et al. 1972).
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