The importance of MRI in our lives and the role of contrast agents in improving imaging sensitivity have caused many researchers to try to enhance contrast properties using various techniques to achieve better image contrast.
MRI contrast agents can be taken orally or intravenously and removed from the body through the kidneys. There are two types of contrast agents:
Paramagnetic compounds, like gadolinium, reduce the longitudinal (T1) relaxation property and result in a brighter signal; and super-paramagnetic magnetic nanoparticles (SPMNPs), have a significant impact on transversal (T2) relaxation properties.
Gadolinium contrast agents help to improve the clarity and accuracy of MRI images. By injecting gadolinium contrast into the body, radiologists can better understand how the body works and the presence of diseases or abnormalities.
The gadolinium contrast media molecule is made up of a gadolinium ion and a carrier molecule (a chelating agent) bonded together. The chelating agent inhibits the toxicity of gadolinium while preserving its contrast characteristics.
The gadolinium contrast agent is used to enhance the clarity of MRI images in approximately 1 in 3 cases. This enhances the accuracy of the MRI diagnosis. For example, it increases the visibility of inflammation, tumors, blood vessels, etc.