New contrast agent alternative may replace gadolinium in MRI

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After making national headlines this past month, gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) to diagnose abnormalities in MRI exams have become a hot topic of debate for radiologists and health imaging professionals.  

According to a recent article by RadiologyBusiness, a new study may have discovered a viable alternative. The study, published in RSNA's Radiology, examined a manganese-based contrast agent, manganese-N-picolyl-N,N’,N’-trans-1,2-cyclohexenediaminetriacetate (Mn-PyC3A), that may have the potential to replace GBCA's in MRIs and other advanced imaging exams, according to the article.  

“Our imaging and pharmacokinetics data support the hypothesis that Mn-PyC3A is a potentially viable alternative to GBCAs,” wrote lead author of the study Peter Caravan, PhD, of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital. “The relaxivity of Mn-PyC3A is comparable to that of the commercially available GBCA Gd-DTPA, and MR angiography demonstrated that Mn-PyC3A performs comparably to Gd-DTPA for blood vessel imaging. Dynamic imaging of the abdomen revealed rapid blood clearance and mixed renal and hepatobiliary elimination of Mn-PyC3A.” 

Caravan and his colleagues performed magnetic resonance (MR) angiography with both Mn-PyC3A and gadopentetate dimeglumine (Gd-DTPA) in female baboons, ultimately comparing the enhancement produced by both agents and other key data. 

For more information about the study, see here.