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Potential of Gd-DTPA-Mannan Liposome Particles as a Pulmonary Perfusion MRI Contrast Agent: An Initial Animal Study

SUGA, KAZUYOSHI MD*; MIKAWA, MASAHIRO PhD; OGASAWARA, NOBUHIKO MD*; OKAZAKI, HAJIME MD*; MATSUNAGA, NAOFUMI MD*

Original Investigations
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Suga K, Mikawa M, Ogasawara N, et al. Potential of Gd-DTPA-mannan liposome particles as a pulmonary perfusion MRI contrast agent: An initial animal study. Invest Radiol 2001;36:136–145.

rationale and objectives.  A paramagnetic, particle-type MR contrast agent, (Gd-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid [DTPA]-mannan-cholesterol)-coated liposomes, was designed to localize in the lung by the mechanism of capillary blockade, and the potential of this agent for pulmonary perfusion MRI was experimentally investigated.

methods. Before and up to 60 minutes after slow injection of this contrast agent, MR images were sequentially acquired at 10-second intervals along the same transaxial plane of the lung by using a gradient-echo pulse sequence with a short echo time of 1.2 ms on a 1.5-T MR scanner. After the minimal dose for obtaining a sufficient lung enhancement effect was determined in five rabbits, the time course of the enhancement effect was evaluated in six dogs by arterial blood gas analysis. The efficacy of MRI for detecting perfusion defects was evaluated in seven other dogs with pulmonary embolism.

results. Normal lungs were dose-dependently enhanced by this agent, and with a 2.0 mL/kg dose, dependent lungs were enhanced by more than 201%, with an average half-life of the enhancement effect of 35.7 ± 5.3 minutes. With less than this dose (1.0–1.5 mL/kg), all of the embolized lung portions were clearly identified as perfusion defects. The prolonged enhancement effect allowed the acquisition of subsequent multisectional lung images, thus facilitating the assessment of anatomic location and extent of the perfusion defects. The reduction of PaO2 in room air after injection was within 5 mm Hg in both normal and embolized animals.

conclusions. These initial, experimental results show that paramagnetically labeled liposome particles may be a successful MR contrast agent for pulmonary perfusion imaging.

From the *Department of Radiology, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine, Ube, Japan, and the †Basic Research Institute, Nihon Shering K.K., Osaka, Japan.

Supported by a grant for scientific research (08671033) from the Japanese Ministry of Education.

Reprint requests: Kazuyoshi Suga, MD, Department of Radiology, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine, 1-1-1 Minamikogushi, Ube, Yamaguchi 755-8505, Japan.

Received June 30, 2000, and accepted for publication, after revision, October 24, 2000.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.