Intravascular (blood pool) MRI contrast agents

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 2 Apr 2020

Intravascular MRI contrast agents normally remain confined to the intravascular space, compared to Gd-DTPA which distributes throughout the extracellular fluid space. This is a result of intravascular agents having a molecular weight of approximately 70,000 and above, compared to a molecular weight of 590 for Gd-DTPA. 

There are several advantages of intravascular agents:

  • they can assess perfusion in areas of ischemia and provide information about capillary permeability in areas of reperfusion
  • they can show the extent of tumor neovascularity and associated permeability changes
  • they are useful in studies requiring prolonged imaging. 

These types of intravascular contrast agents will be discussed separately: 

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