MRI contrast agents

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 9 Dec 2022

MRI contrast agents have become an indispensable part of contemporary magnetic resonance imaging. Although MRI was initially hoped to provide a means of making definitive diagnoses without administering contrast media, it has been found that the addition of contrast agents in many cases improves sensitivity and/or specificity.

Paul Lauterbur and his associates were the first to demonstrate the feasibility of using paramagnetic contrast agents to improve tissue discrimination on MRI 1

Contrast agents can be grouped in many different ways. One way is to consider them according to the compartments in which they distribute. 

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