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To evaluate the signal-enhancing characteristics of monomer-coated very small superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) particles used as a blood pool contrast medium for magnetic resonance (MR) angiography in the coronary arteries.
The particles used in this study were coated with citrate as the monomer (VSOP-C91). The particles have a total diameter of 7 nm and show the following relaxivities at 0.47 T: T1, 19 L/mmol. sec(-1); T2, 29 L/mmol. sec(-1). Fifteen cardiac MR examinations were performed at 1.5 T in five pigs. Images were acquired from immediately to 35 minutes (equilibrium phase) after intravenous injection of gadopentetate dimeglumine, gadobenate dimeglumine, and the very small SPIO particles (n = 5 for each substance).
Immediately after administration of gadopentetate dimeglumine, gadobenate dimeglumine, and the very small SPIO particles, respectively, increases in the signal-to-noise ratio in blood were 94%, 103%, and 102% and in myocardium were 83%, 83%, and 29% (P <.05, very small SPIO particles versus the low-molecular-weight gadolinium-based compounds). Differences in the blood-to-myocardium contrast-to-noise ratio and visualization of the coronary arteries and their branches were also significant.
VSOP-C91 significantly improves visualization of the coronary arteries at MR angiography from immediately to 35 minutes after injection.