European Radiology

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 2170–2179 | Cite as

MRI-CEST assessment of tumour perfusion using X-ray iodinated agents: comparison with a conventional Gd-based agent

  • Annasofia Anemone
  • Lorena Consolino
  • Dario Livio Longo
Molecular Imaging



X-ray iodinated contrast media have been shown to generate contrast in MR images when used with the chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) approach. The aim of this study is to compare contrast enhancement (CE) capabilities and perfusion estimates between radiographic molecules and a Gd-based contrast agent in two tumour murine models with different vascularization patterns.


MRI-CEST and MRI-CE T1w images were acquired in murine TS/A and 4 T1 breast tumours upon sequential i.v. injection of iodinated contrast media (iodixanol, iohexol, and iopamidol) and of gadoteridol. The signal enhancements observed in the two acquisition modalities were evaluated using Pearson’s correlation, and the correspondence in the spatial distribution was assessed by a voxelwise comparison.


A significant, positive correlation was observed between iodinated contrast media and gadoteridol for tumour contrast enhancement and perfusion values for both tumour models (r = 0.51-0.62). High spatial correlations were observed in perfusion maps between iodinated molecules and gadoteridol (r = 0.68-0.86). Tumour parametric maps derived by iodinated contrast media and gadoteridol showed high spatial similarities.


A good to strong spatial correlation between tumour perfusion parameters derived from MRI-CEST and MRI-CE modalities indicates that the two procedures provide similar information.

Key Points

Gd-based agents are the standard of reference for contrast-enhanced MRI.

Iodinated contrast media provides MRI-CEST contrast enhancement in animal tumour models.

Contrast enhancements were positively correlated between iodinated agents and gadoteridol.

Tumour perfusion map showed similar spatial distribution between iodinated agents and gadoteridol.

MRI-CEST with iodinated agents provide similar information to gadoteridol.


MRI Radiocontrast media CEST Contrast agent Gadoteridol 

Abbreviations and acronyms


Contrast Agents


Contrast Enhanced


Chemical-Exchange Saturation Transfer


Field of view


Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis


Region of Interest



The scientific guarantor of this publication is Dario Longo. The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. The authors state that this work has not received any funding. No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper. Institutional review board approval was not required because no studies on humans were performed. Approval from the institutional animal care committee was obtained. Methodology: experimental, performed at one institution.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annasofia Anemone
    • 1
  • Lorena Consolino
    • 1
  • Dario Livio Longo
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Molecolari e Scienze per la SaluteUniversità degli Studi di TorinoTorinoItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Biostrutture e Bioimmagini (CNR) c/o Centro di Biotecnologie MolecolariUniversità degli Studi di TorinoTorinoItaly

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