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AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1994 Jan;15(1):87-94.

Dextran-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide, an MR contrast agent for assessing lymph nodes in the head and neck.

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  • 1Department of Radiological Sciences, University of California Los Angeles Medical Center 90024-1721.



To investigate dextran-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (BMS 180549) as an MR contrast agent for assessing lymph nodes.


Five different doses ranging from 0.3 to 1.7 mg Fe/kg were evaluated in five healthy human male subjects as part of a phase 1 clinical study. T1-, T2-, and proton density-weighted spin-echo images as well as multiplanar gradient-echo and spoiled gradient-echo images were acquired before and 1 hour, 4 hours, and 24 hours after contrast administration. Image analysis was performed with visually selected regions of interest. Signal intensities were measured for neck lymph nodes and the adjacent muscle. Enhancement effects were evaluated as a function of dose, imaging time after contrast administration, and MR pulse sequence.


The iron oxide particles were phagocytized by macrophages within the normal functioning lymph nodes, resulting in a dramatic decrease in signal intensity because of magnetic susceptibility effects. T2*-weighted gradient echo and T2-weighted spin echo showed significant decrease in the signal intensity of normal lymph nodes at 24 hours after contrast injection at a dose of 1.7 mg Fe/kg. No significant changes in lymph node signal intensity on T1-weighted spin-echo images were noted at any dose or imaging time point.


This preliminary clinical evaluation demonstrates intravenous delivery of an iron-based contrast agent, resulting in negative enhancement of normal lymph nodes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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