Comparing the signal enhancement of a gadolinium based and an iron-oxide based contrast agent in low-field MRI

Jordy K. van Zandwijk*, Frank F.J. Simonis, Friso G. Heslinga, Elfi I.S. Hofmeijer, Robert H. Geelkerken, Bennie ten Haken, Viktor Vegh (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Recently, there has been a renewed interest in low-field MRI. Contrast agents (CA) in MRI have magnetic behavior dependent on magnetic field strength. Therefore, the optimal contrast agent for low-field MRI might be different from what is used at higher fields. Ultra-small superparamagnetic iron-oxides (USPIOs), commonly used as negative CA, might also be used for generating positive contrast in low-field MRI. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an USPIO or a gadolinium based contrast agent is more appropriate at low field strengths. Relaxivity values of ferumoxytol (USPIO) and gadoterate (gadolinium based) were used in this research to simulate normalized signal intensity (SI) curves within a concentration range of 0–15 mM. Simulations were experimentally validated on a 0.25T MRI scanner. Simulations and experiments were performed using spin echo (SE), spoiled gradient echo (SGE), and balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) sequences. Maximum achievable SIs were assessed for both CAs in a range of concentrations on all sequences. Simulations at 0.25T showed a peak in SIs at low concentrations ferumoxytol versus a wide top at higher concentrations for gadoterate in SE and SGE. Experiments agreed well with the simulations in SE and SGE, but less in the bSSFP sequence due to overestimated relaxivities in simulations. At low magnetic field strengths, ferumoxytol generates similar signal enhancement at lower concentrations than gadoterate.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0256252
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2021


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