Chromium-labeled red blood cells

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 2 Apr 2020

Chromium-labeled red blood cells is an intravascular MRI contrast agent. The use of 51Cr-labeled RBCs in nuclear medicine suggested the use of paramagnetic Cr(III)-labeled RBCs as an intravascular contrast agent for MRI. In dogs, significant enhancement of the liver and spleen is noted with minimal enhancement of the kidneys. The blood volume to be replaced with labeled RBCs in these studies corresponds to about one unit in humans. The survival half-life of labeled cells is 4.7 days compared to 16.6 days for unlabeled cells. Free chromium ions may contribute to the enhanced relaxation rates of the liver and spleen. Short term toxicity appears to be low, but further studies are necessary.

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