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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
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Contrast Agents For Oral Use / Signal Characteristics
Negative Oral Contrast Agents  
Categories of negative oral contrast agents:
Gastrointestinal diamagnetic contrast agents
Gastrointestinal superparamagnetic contrast agents
Negative oral contrast media are usually based on superparamagnetic particles and act by inducing local field inhomogeneities, which results in shortening of both T1 and T2 relaxation times. Superparamagnetic contrast agents have predominant T2 weighted effects. Biphasic contrast media are agents that have different signal intensities on different sequences, depending on the concentration at which they are used.
Suitable materials for oral contrast agents should have little or no absorption by the stomach or intestines, complete excretion, no motion or susceptibility artifacts, affordability, and uniform marking of the gastrointestinal tract. Benefits of negative oral contrast agents are the reduction of ghosting artifacts caused by the lack of signal. Superparamagnetic iron oxides produce also in low concentrations a noticeable signal loss; but can generate susceptibility artifacts especially in gradient echo sequences. Perfluorochemicals do not dilute in the bowel because they are not miscible with water.
High cost, poor availability, and limited evaluations of side effects are possible disadvantages.
Negative oral contrast agents are used e.g., in MRCP, where the ingestion of 600-900 ml of SPIO cancels out the signal intensity of the lumen (in addition after the injection of a gadolinium-based contrast medium, the enhancement of the inflammatory tissues is clearer seen), and in MR abdominal imaging of Crohn's disease in combination with mannitol.

Contrast Guidance
Blueberry or pineapple juices are useable for examinations of the pancreas (MRCP, upper abdominal imaging) as cheep contrast agents, because of the content of magnetic substances (e.g. manganese). See also Ferristene, Ferumoxsil, Oral Magnetic Particles, Gastrointestinal Imaging.

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

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Positive Oral Contrast Agents  
Types of oral contrast agents with positive signal enhancement:
Paramagnetic contrast agents (e.g., Gd-DTPA solutions)
Short T1-relaxation gastrointestinal agents (e.g., mineral oil)
Combinations of these
Ideal oral contrast agents are immiscible with water, biologically inert, have a low viscosity and surface tension. Oral positive contrast agents may improve the separation of bowel loops, the detection of polyps in colon MRI or the assessment of inflammatory bowel in the small intestine. Several positive oral contrast agents are available and they are safe to use, for example gadolinium solution, ferric ammonium citrate, different oil emulsions and pediatric formula.
Unfavorably motion artifacts caused by respiration and peristalsis may be increased in MR imaging. In addition, the signal of the positive contrast medium may decrease caused by dilution in gastrointestinal (GI) secretions. With the use of contrast agents that are immiscible with water, no dilution and accompanying signal loss occur even when the contrast agent is in contact with the intraluminal contents of the GI tract. Another disadvantage may be residual substances in the bowel, resembling masses when enclosed by bright signal. In addition, positive contrast agents may have a similar signal as bright masses, which make their (e.g. lipoma) detection difficult.
See also Gastrointestinal Paramagnetic Contrast Agents, Combination Oral Contrast Agents, Gastrointestinal Diamagnetic Contrast Agents.
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 'Positive Oral Contrast Agents' (6).Open this link in a new window

MRI Knowledge Resources from Universities, Companies, Agencies, etc. 
• Image Quality
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• Resources
• Contrast Agents

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