Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DCE-MRI) is becoming an indispensable tool to non-invasively
study tumor characteristics. However, many different DCE-analysis methods are currently being used. To
compare and validate different methods, histology is the gold standard. For this purpose, exact co-localization between
histology and MRI images is a prerequisite. In this study a methodology is developed to validate DCE-data with
histology with an emphasis on correct registration of DCE-MRI and histological data. A pancreatic tumor was grown in
a rat model. The tumor was dissected after MR imaging, embedded in paraffin, and cut into thin slices. These slices were
stained with haematoxylin and eosin, digitized and stacked in a 3D volume. Next, the 3D histology was registered to ex-vivo
SWI-weighted MR images, which in turn were registered to in-vivo SWI and DCE images to achieve correct co-localization.
Semi-quantitative and quantitative parameters were calculated. Preliminary results suggest that both
pharmacokinetic and heuristic DCE-parameters can discriminate between vital and non-vital tumor regions. The
developed method offers the basis for an accurate spatial correlation between DCE-MRI derived parametric maps and
histology, and facilitates the evaluation of different DCE-MRI analysis methods.