Enhanced MRI of tumors utilizing a new nitroxyl spin label contrast agent

Richard L. Ehman, George E. Wesbey, Kirk L. Moon, Richard D. Williams, Michael T. McNamara, William R. Couet, Thomas N. Tozer, Robert C. Brasch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Nitroxyl spin labels have been shown to be effective in vivo contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the central nervous system, myocardium, and urinary tract. A new pyrrolidine nitroxyl contrast agent (PCA) with better resistance to in vivo metabolic inactivation than previously tested agents was studied for its potential to enhance subcutaneous neoplasms in an animal model. Twenty-two contrast enhancement trials were performed on a total of 15 animals 4-6 weeks after implantation with human renal adenocarcinoma. Spin echo imaging was performed using a .35 T animal imager before and after intravenous administration of PCA in doses ranging from 0.5 to 3 mM/kg. The intensity of tumor tissue in the images increased an average of 35% in animals receiving a dose of 3 mM/kg. The average enhancement with smaller doses was proportionately less. Tumor intensity reached a maximum within 15 min of injection. The average intensity difference between tumor and adjacent skeletal muscle more than doubled following administration of 3 mM/kg of PCA. Well-perfused tumor tissue was more intensely enhanced than adjacent poorly perfused and necrotic tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985


  • MRI contrast media
  • MRI of tumors
  • Nitroxide spin label

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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