The aim of this experimental study was to determine whether Motexafin Gadolinium (MGd) could serve as an efficient intraoperative contrast agent avoiding problems that arise with surgically-induced intracranial enhancement. F98 orthotopic brain tumors or surgical lesions were induced in Fisher rats. T1-weighted MRI studies were performed with either a single or multiple daily doses of MGd. The last contrast dose was administered either 7 or 24 h prior to scanning in both tumor-bearing and surgically treated animals. Animals receiving either 30 or 60 mg/kg MGd i.v. developed clinical signs of impaired motor activity, and increasing lethargy. MGd given i.p. was tolerated up to a dose of 140 mg/kg. Despite multiple dosages, and several administration modes (i.p. and i.v.), no significant enhancement was observed if the scans were performed 7 or 24 h following the last MGd dose. Clear enhancement was observed if the scans were performed 30 min. following MGd administration. Scans of necrotic lesions were positive 7 h post MGd injection. MGd scans showed no significant enhancement following surgically-induced lesions while scans with conventional contrast agents showed both meningeal and intraparenchymal enhancement. This study suggests that MGd is not sequestered in viable tumor for the necessary time interval required to allow delayed imaging in this model. The agent does seem to remain in necrotic tissue for longer time intervals. MGd therefore would not be suitable as a contrast agent in iMRI for the detection of residual tumor tissue during surgery.