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Formulation of radiographically detectable gastrointestinal contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging: effects of a barium sulfate additive on MR contrast agent effectiveness

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Magn Reson Med, Volume 23, Number 1, p.154-65 (1992)

Accession Number:



*Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods, Ammonium Compounds/chemistry, Animal, Barium Sulfate/analysis/*chemistry, Contrast Media/analysis/chemical synthesis/*chemistry, Dogs, Edetic Acid/analogs & derivatives/chemistry, Ferric Compounds/chemistry, Fluoroscopy, Gadolinium DTPA, Gadolinium/chemistry, Gastrointestinal System/*anatomy & histology/*radiography, Gastrointestinal Transit, Image Enhancement/*methods, Manganese/chemistry, Models, Structural, Organometallic Compounds/chemistry, Pentetic Acid/chemistry, Pyridoxal Phosphate/analogs & derivatives/chemistry, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


Complete and homogeneous distribution of gastrointestinal (GI) contrast media are important factors for their effective use in computed tomography as well as in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. A radiographic method (using fluoroscopy or spot films) could be effective for monitoring intestinal filling with GI contrast agents for MR imaging (GICMR), but it would require the addition of a radiopaque agent to most GICMR. This study was conducted to determine the minimum amount of barium additive necessary to be radiographically visible and to evaluate whether this additive influences the signal characteristics of the GICMR. A variety of barium sulfate preparations (3-12% wt/vol) were tested in dogs to determine the minimum quantity needed to make the administered agent visible during fluoroscopy and on abdominal radiographs. Solutions of 10 different potential GI contrast agents (Gd-DTPA, ferric ammonium citrate, Mn-DPDP, chromium-EDTA, gadolinium-oxalate, ferrite particles, water, mineral oil, lipid emulsion, and methylcellulose) were prepared without ("nondoped") and with ("doped") the barium sulfate additive. MR images of the solutions in tubes were obtained at 0.38 T using 10 different spin-echo pulse sequences. Region of interest (ROI) measurements of contrast agent signal intensity (SI) were made. In addition, for the paramagnetic contrast media, the longitudinal and transverse relaxivity (R1 and R2) were measured. A 6% wt/vol suspension of barium was the smallest concentration yielding adequate radiopacity in the GI tract. Except for gadolinium-oxalate, there was no statistically significant difference in SI for doped and non-doped solutions with most pulse sequences used. In addition, the doped and nondoped solutions yielded R1 and R2 values which were comparable. We conclude that barium sulfate 6% wt/vol added to MR contrast agents produces a suspension with sufficient radiodensity to be viewed radiographically, and it does not cause significant alteration in the MR signal appearance of most GICMR. These formulations can be useful for achieving optimal filling of the gastrointestinal tract prior to MRI.