Chemistry of paramagnetic and diamagnetic contrast agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy pH responsive contrast agents
Pérez-Mayoral, E.; Negri, V.; Soler-Padrós, J.; Cerdán, S.án.; Ballesteros, P.
European Journal of Radiology 67(3): 453-458
ISSN/ISBN: 0720-048X PMID: 18455343 DOI: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2008.02.048
We provide a brief overview of the chemistry and most relevant properties of paramagnetic and diamagnetic contrast agents (CAs) for Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging. Paramagnetic CAs for MRI consist mainly of Gd(III) complexes from linear or macrocyclic polyaminopolycarboxylates. These agents reduce, the relaxation times T(1) and T(2) of the water protons in a concentration dependent manner, increasing selectively MRI contrast in those regions in which they accumulate. In most instances they provide anatomical information on the localization of lesions and in some specific cases they may allow to estimate some physiological properties of tissues including mainly vascular performance. Because of its ability to discriminate easily between normal and diseased tissue, extracellular pH (pH(e)) has been added recently, to the battery of variables amenable to MRI investigation. A variety of Gd(III) containing macrocycles sensitive to pH, endogenous or exogenous polypeptides or even liposomes have been investigated for this purpose, using the pH dependence of their relaxivity or magnetization transfer rate constant (chemical exchange saturation transfer, CEST). Many environmental circumstances in addition to pH affect, however, relaxivity or magnetization transfer rate constants of these agents, making the results of pH measurements by MRI difficult to interpret. To overcome these limitations, our laboratory synthesized and developed a novel series of diamagnetic CAs for Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging, a new family of monomeric and dimeric imidazolic derivatives able to provide unambiguous measurements of pH(e), independent of water relaxivity, diffusion or exchange.