Purpose: Accurate characterization of contrast reagent (CR) longitudinal relaxivity in whole blood is required to predict arterial signal intensity in contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CE-MRA). This study measured the longitudinal relaxation rate constants (R1) over a concentration range for non-protein-binding and protein-binding CRs in ex vivo whole blood and plasma at 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla (T) under physiologic arterial conditions.
Methods: Relaxivities of gadoteridol, gadobutrol, gadobenate, and gadofosveset were measured for [CR] from 0 to 18 mM [mmol(CR)/L(blood)]: the latter being the upper limit of what may be expected in CE-MRA.
Results: In plasma, the 1H2O R2 [CR]-dependence was nonlinear for gadobenate and gadofosveset secondary to CR interactions with the serum macromolecule albumin, and was well described by an analytical expression for effective 1:1 binding stoichiometry. In whole blood, the 1H2O R2 [CR]-dependence was markedly non-linear for all CRs, and was well-predicted by an expression for equilibrium exchange of water molecules between plasma and intracellular spaces using a priori parameter values only.
Conclusion: In whole blood, 2H2O R1 exhibits a nonlinear relationship with [CR] over 0 to 18 mM CR. The nonlinearity is well described by exchange of water between erythrocyte and plasma compartments, and is particularly evident for high relaxivity CRs.
- Contrast agents
- MR angiography
- Relaxation rate constant
- Relaxation time constant
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging