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J Magn Reson Imaging. 1999 Sep;10(3):314-6.

Contrast agents for MRA: future directions.

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Department of Radiology, German Cancer Research Center, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


The purpose of this review is to outline recent developments in contrast agents for magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) and to give some idea of what the future might hold. Up to now, non-binding gadolinium (Gd) chelates have been the agents used for MRA. Modified paramagnetic Gd-based agents with varying degrees of protein interaction have been developed, and these, together with new superparamagnetic compounds, are currently under clinical evaluation. It is likely that two different types of contrast agent will soon be available: extracellular agents for first-pass MRA and intravascular agents mainly for steady-state MRA. Several agents also exhibit certain tissue specific properties in addition to conventional extracellular properties. This will lead to more comprehensive imaging approaches.

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