Aim: To establish an ideal implantable rat liver tumor model for interventional therapy study and examine its angiographic signs and MRI, CT features before and after embolization. Methods: Forty male Wistar rats were implanted with Walker-256 tumor in the left lateral lobe of liver. Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) and transarterial chemoembolization were performed on day 14 after implantation. Native computer tomography (CT, n=8) and native magnetic resonance (MR, n=40) were performed between the day 8 and day 21 after implantation. The radiological morphological characteristics were correlated with histological findings. Results: Successful implantation was achieved in all forty rats, which was confirmed by CT and MRI. MR allowed tumor visualization from day 8 while CT from day 11 after implantation. The tumors were hypodensity on CT, hypointense on MR T1-weighted and hyperintense on T2-weighted. The model closely resembled human hepatocarcinoma in growth pattern and the lesions were rich in vasculature on angiography and got its filling mainly from the hepatic artery. Before therapy, tumor size was 211.9±48.7 mm3. No ascites, satellite liver nodules or lung metastasis were found. One week after therapy, tumor size was 963.6±214.8 mm3 in the control group and 356.5±78.4 mm3 in TACE group. Ascites (4/40), satellite liver nodules (7/40) or lung metastasis (3/40) could be seen on day 21. Conclusion: Walker-256 tumor rat model is suitable for the interventional experiment. CT and MRI are helpful in animal optioning and evaluating experimental results.
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