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Evaluation of the hepatocyte-specific contrast agent gadobenate dimeglumine for MR imaging of acute hepatitis in a rat model



Evaluation of the hepatocyte-specific contrast agent gadobenate dimeglumine for MR imaging of acute hepatitis in a rat model



Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 7(1): 147-152



This work was conducted to test the hypothesis that contrast-enhanced MRI with hepatocyte-specific contrast agents facilitates quantitation and mapping of diffuse liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. Gadobenate dimeglumine (Gd-BOPTA/Dimeg, Bracco SpA, Millano, Italy) is a new paramagnetic hepatocyte-specific contrast agent currently undergoing clinical trials. We have assessed the usefulness of gadobenate dimeglumine for the diagnosis of diffuse liver diseases in a rat model of chemically induced hepatitis. The study was based on the measurements of in vivo liver relaxation times as well as on the acquisition of standard SE images. Acute hepatitis considerably reduced the degree of T1 shortening of liver parenchyma caused by intravenous injection of .25 mmol/kg of gadobenate dimeglumine. Analogously, the enhancement of the MRI signal intensity of the liver of rats with hepatitis observed in T1-weighted spin-echo (SE) images was inferior, in terms of both strength and duration, to that recorded in control rats at doses of .25 mmol/kg and .075 mmol/kg of gadobenate dimeglumine. Our results show that gadobenate dimeglumine-enhanced MR imaging has the potential for visualization of hepatitis and for assessment of liver function. Our conclusions differ from those previously published on this subject by other authors. The reasons that led to differing conclusions are discussed.

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Accession: 046015610

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PMID: 9039606

DOI: 10.1002/jmri.1880070121


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