New intravascular contrast agent applied to dynamic contrast enhanced MR imaging of human breast cancer

Acta Radiol. 2003 May;44(3):275-83. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0455.2003.00068.x.


Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility of using dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging with a new intravascular contrast agent in grading human breast cancer.

Material and methods: 23 patients with 27 breast tumors (21 carcinomas and 6 fibroadenomas) were examined with dynamic MR imaging after administration of Clariscan, an iron oxide nanoparticle with large T1 relaxivity and a long plasma half life. A 3D T1-weighted gradient echo sequence with an acquisition time of 60 s was repeated at regular intervals of 3-5 min before and up to 1 h after injection of 2 mg/kg b.w. of Clariscan. The endothelial transfer constant, Kps, which reflects overall vascular permeability, and the fractional plasma volume, fPV, were estimated from time-intensity curves acquired from three separate regions of interest (ROIs): whole tumor, a permeability hot spot, and a blood volume hot spot. Kps and fPV were compared to the results of histologic tumor grading (Scarff-Bloom-Richardson, SBR) and microvascular density, MVD.

Results: A statistically significant correlation between the MR-derived Kps parameters and the SBR score was obtained for the whole tumor ROI (R = 0.70), and for the permeability hot spot ROIs (R = 0.67). A correlation between fPV and SBR was detected for the blood volume hot spot ROIs (R = 0.48). There was no statistically significant correlation between Kps or fPV with MVD.

Conclusion: The results support the hypothesis that dynamic MR with the intravascular contrast agent Clariscan may be used for non-invasive tumor grading.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / diagnosis
  • Contrast Media* / administration & dosage
  • Dextrans
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Ferrosoferric Oxide
  • Fibroadenoma / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Iron* / administration & dosage
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxides* / administration & dosage


  • Contrast Media
  • Dextrans
  • Magnetite Nanoparticles
  • Oxides
  • ferumoxtran-10
  • Iron
  • Ferrosoferric Oxide