Evaluation of portal MR angiography using superparamagnetic iron oxide

Friedrich D Knollmann, J. C. Böck, S. Teltenkötter, W. Wlodarczyk, A. Mühler, Th J. Vogl, R. Felix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The purpose of our research was to determine the effects of superparamagnetic iron oxide on MR imaging of the portal venous system. Eight piglets were examined in deep anaesthesia and respiratory arrest using a time-of-flight magnetic resonance fast low angle shot, two-dimensional angiography sequence at 1.5T. MR angiograms were acquired precontrast and after intravenous administration of a cumulative dose of 10, 20 and 40 μmol/kg SHU 555A, a superparamagnetic iron oxide contrast agent for MR imaging with a particle size of 60 nm. For each dose, two subsequent sets of scans were obtained and reconstructed by a maximum-intensity-projection algorithm. Hepatic parenchymal and portal venous signal intensities were measured, and portal vein contrast calculated for each set of scans. All examinations were visually rated as to portal vein contrast and homogeneity by two blinded observers. Receiver operating characteristics of both observers were analyzed. The contrast agent reduced hepatic parenchymal signal in a dose-dependent way. After a cumulative dose of 10 μmol iron oxide, hepatic parenchymal signal intensity decreased to 63 ± 6% (average of measurements at 4 and 14 minutes, mean ± standard error of the mean), after 20 μmol to 24 ± 3%, and after 40 μmol to 12 ± 1% of control. Intravascular signal in the left portal vein branch increased to 117 ± 6%, 127 ± 10% and 133 ± 9% of control, respectively. The contrast-to-noise ratio of the portal vein improved (521 ± 90%, 891 ± 178%, and 995 ± 201% of control in the left portal vein main branch). Intravascular signal intensities increased slightly. The combined effect improved contrast of the portal vein stem and its branches. Receiver operating characteristics analysis document dose-dependency of contrast medium effects on portal venous contrast and intravascular homogeneity. Visual rating also indicated a positive effect on portal venous contrast. The superparagmanetic iron oxide agent improved portal venous contrast with surrounding hepatic parenchyma in this normal animal model, and could potentially result in more accurate diagnosis of portal venous pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Contrast agents
  • Liver disease
  • MR angiography
  • MR imaging
  • Portal vein
  • SHU 555A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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