The diagnostic value of magnetic starch microspheres (MSM), a new superparamagnetic contrast agent, was studied in experimental models of diffuse and focal splenic disease in rats by means of ex vivo relaxometry and in vivo magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Owing to small differences in unenhanced T1 and T2 values between diffuse lymphoma and normal spleen, MR imaging failed to distinguish tumor‐bearing animals from control animals by signal‐to‐noise ratios (SNRs) obtained with T1‐ and T2‐weighted spin‐echo sequences. One hour after injection of 20 μmol/kg MSM, lymphomatous spleen showed significantly (P <.001) reduced enhancement relative to normal splenic tissue. As a result, animals with diffuse lymphoma (SNR: 10.3 ± 1.7) could be easily differentiated from control animals (SNR: 5.5 ± 0.6) on T2‐weighted (TR msec/TE msec = 2,000/45) images. In focal splenic disease, MSM produced normal enhancement of nontumorous splenic tissue, whereas relaxation times of tumors were not different before and after contrast agent injection. On T2‐weighted images (2,000/45), the tumor‐spleen contrast‐to‐noise ratio increased from (4.8 ± 1.6 to 21.8 ± 1.9 +354%), improving conspicuity of splenic tumors. The results show that MSM‐enhanced MR imaging improves the detection of diffuse and focal splenic disease.
- Contrast enhancement
- Contrast media
- Contrast media, experimental studies
- Spleen, MR, 775.12143
- Spleen, neoplasms, 775.12143
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging