Purpose. To evaluate a new single-electron contrast agent for Overhauser-enhanced MR imaging. The contrast agents that are currently available give enhancement factors that are too low to make the technique a valid option for routine clinical use. Material and Methods. MR images were generated directly following the injection of the substance into rats. The MR scanner was operated at a main magnetic field of 0.01 T and equipped with a separate rf-transmitter tuned to the electron paramagnetic resonance frequency of the contrast agent. Results. As expected, the images generated show a high level of enhancement in areas where the contrast agent was present, and a maximum enhancement of 60 times the normal proton signal was obtained in the vascular area. The signal-to-noise ratios in the images were superior to those previously attained. Conclusion: The new contrast agent makes it possible to generate MR images with both morphological and functional information at 0.01 T The signal-to-noise ratios found in the generated images were of the same order as, or better than, those obtained with the standard clinical routine.
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
- DYNAMIC NUCLEAR-POLARIZATION