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MRI Contrast Agents
• Classifications, Characteristics, etc. •
• Contrast Agents For Intravenous Use / Magnetic Characteristics
• Contrast Agents For Intravenous Use / Pharmacokinetics
• Contrast Agents For Intravenous Use / Distribution
• Contrast Agents For Oral Use / Magnetic Characteristics
• Contrast Agents For Oral Use / Signal Characteristics
Radiology Contrast Agents Open this link in a new window Ultrasound Imaging Contrast Agents Open this link in a new window
Contrast Agents For Oral Use / Magnetic Characteristics
Gastrointestinal Diamagnetic Contrast Agents  
Diamagnetism occurs only by a substance in the presence of an externally applied magnetic field. Diamagnetic contrast agents are complexes in which the metal ion (e.g., Zn, Bi and Ca) is diamagnetic.
Potential diamagnetic materials in gastrointestinal MRI:
Barium sulfate
A suspension of clay minerals (Kaopectate with kaolin, a common over the counter drug) can be used as a negative oral contrast agent caused by the diamagnetic properties. By using this preparation as a gastrointestinal contrast agent e.g., in pancreas MRI or MRCP, the absence of signal is clearly visible in the stomach and duodenum. Barium sulfate commonly used as an X-ray contrast agent has also been tested for use in abdominal imaging. The diamagnetic properties of the barium particles are caused by a susceptibility effect around them, the resulting signal loss is strengthening by a replacement of water protons with barium.
See also Diamagnetism.

• View the DATABASE results for 'Gastrointestinal Diamagnetic Contrast Agents' (7).Open this link in a new window

Gastrointestinal Paramagnetic Contrast Agents 
Paramagnetic substances, for example Gd-DTPA solutions, are used as MRI oral contrast agents in gastrointestinal imaging to depict the lumen of the digestive organs. Different Gd-DTPA solutions or zeolites containing gadolinium can be used e.g., for diagnosis of delayed gastric emptying, diagnosis of Crohn's disease etc.
Low concentrations of gastrointestinal paramagnetic contrast agents cause a reduction in T1 relaxation time; consequently, these agents act on T1 weighted images by increasing the signal intensity of the bowel lumen. High concentrations cause T2 shortening by decreasing the signal, similar to superparamagnetic iron oxide. Gd-DTPA chelates are unstable at the low pH in the stomach, therefore buffering is necessary for oral use.
See also Gadopentetate Gastrointestinal, Gadolinium Zeolite, Negative Oral Contrast Agents, Gastrointestinal Superparamagnetic Contrast Agents, and Ferric ammonium citrate.
Images, Movies, Sliders:
 MR Colonography Gadolinium per Rectum  Open this link in a new window

Courtesy of  Robert R. Edelman

• View the DATABASE results for 'Gastrointestinal Paramagnetic Contrast Agents' (5).Open this link in a new window

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Gastrointestinal Superparamagnetic Contrast Agents 
Gastrointestinal (GI) superparamagnetic contrast agents are used in MRI to improve the visualization of e.g., the intestinal tract, the pancreas (see MRCP), etc. Disadvantages are susceptibility artifacts e.g., dependent on delayed imaging or large volumes resulting in artifacts in the colon and distal small bowel loops related to higher concentration of the particles and absorption of the fluid.
Different types of MRI gastrointestinal superparamagnetic contrast agents:
Superparamagnetic iron oxide
Magnetite albumin microsphere
Oral magnetic particles
Usually gastrointestinal superparamagnetic contrast media consist of small iron oxide crystals (ferrites), which produce a signal reduction in the stomach and bowel after oral administration. The T2 shortening caused by these particles is produced from the local magnetic field inhomogeneities associated with the large magnetic moments of superparamagnetic particles. Ferrites are iron oxides of the general formula Fe203.MO, where M is a divalent metal ion and may be mixed with Fe3O4 in different preparations. Ferrites can produce symptoms of nausea after oral administration, as well as flatulence and a transient rise in serum iron. Embedding in inert substances reduce side effects by decreasing the absorption and interaction with body tissues. Combining these contrast materials with polymers such as polyethylene glycol or cellulose, or with sugars such as dextrose, results in improved T1 and/or T2 relaxivity compared with that of the contrast agent alone.
See also Negative Oral Contrast Agents, Gastrointestinal Diamagnetic Contrast Agents, Relaxivity, and Combination Oral Contrast Agents.

• View the DATABASE results for 'Gastrointestinal Superparamagnetic Contrast Agents' (6).Open this link in a new window

MRI Knowledge Resources from Universities, Companies, Agencies, etc. 
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