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Low-Molecular-Weight Iron Chelates May Be an Alternative to Gadolinium-based Contrast Agents for T1-weighted Contrast-enhanced MR Imaging.

Radiology; : 170116, 2017 Jan 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28880786


Purpose To synthesize two low-molecular-weight iron chelates and compare their T1 contrast effects with those of a commercial gadolinium-based contrast agent for their applicability in dynamic contrast material-enhanced (DCE) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Materials and Methods The animal experiments were approved by the local ethics committee. Two previously described iron (Fe) chelates of pentetic acid (Fe-DTPA) and of trans-cyclohexane diamine tetraacetic acid (Fe-tCDTA) were synthesized with stability constants several orders of magnitude higher than those of gadolinium-based contrast agents. The T1 contrast effects of the two chelates were compared with those of gadopentetate dimeglumine in blood serum phantoms at 1.5 T, 3 T, and 7 T. For in vivo studies, a human breast cancer cell line (MDA-231) was implanted in five mice per group. The dynamic contrast effects of the chelates were compared by performing DCE MR imaging with intravenous application of Fe-DTPA or Fe-tCDTA on day 1 and DCE MR imaging in the same tumors with gadopentetate dimeglumine on day 2. Quantitative DCE maps were generated with software and were compared by means of a one-tailed Pearson correlation test. Results Relaxivities in serum (0.94 T at room temperature) of Fe-tCDTA (r1 = 2.2 mmol · sec , r2 = 2.5 mmol · sec ) and Fe-DTPA (r1 = 0.9 mmol · sec , r2 = 0.9 mmol · sec ) were approximately twofold and fivefold lower, respectively, compared with those of gadopentetate dimeglumine (r1 = 4.1 mmol · sec , r2 = 4.8 mmol · sec ). Used at moderately higher concentrations, however, iron chelates generated similar contrast effects at T1-weighted MR imaging in vitro in serum, in vivo in blood, and for DCE MR imaging of breast cancer xenografts. The volume transfer constant values for Fe-DTPA and Fe-tCDTA in the same tumors correlated well with those observed for gadopentetate dimeglumine (Fe-tCDTA Pearson R, 0.99; P = .0003; Fe-DTPA Pearson R, 0.97; P = .003). Conclusion Iron-based contrast agents are promising as alternatives for contrast enhancement at T1-weighted MR imaging and have the potential to contribute to the safety of MR imaging. RSNA, 2017 Online supplemental material is available for this article.