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Magn Reson Imaging. 1985;3(1):43-55.

The use of Gd DTPA as a perfusion agent and marker of blood-brain barrier disruption.


To provide contrast enhancement in magnetic resonance imaging, a new class of compounds has been developed, the paramagnetic metal ion chelates. Gadolinium (Gd) DTPA, a prototype of this class, shows a sufficiently high in vivo stability and low toxicity for use in initial clinical trials. This type of agent, designed for rapid clearance by glomerular filtration, allows the assessment on MRI of renal function, alterations in tissue perfusion, myocardial ischemia, and perhaps most significantly disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Research at Vanderbilt has demonstrated these applications, with particular emphasis in three areas. Tissue perfusion changes, such as those produced by ligation of the arterial blood supply to portions of the spleen and kidney, cannot easily be detected on unenhanced MRI. These acute tissue infarcts can be readily identified following the administration of Gd DTPA. The question of field strength dependence of Gd DTPA has been addressed by experimentation at 0.15, 0.5, and 1.5 tesla. Furthermore, the ability to detect an alteration of the BBB, when present without associated edema, has been demonstrated with the application of control enhancement. The use of contrast agents in MRI will enhance both the sensitivity and specificity of magnetic resonance imaging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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