Paramagnetic lanthanide complexes as PARACEST agents for medical imaging

Chem Soc Rev. 2006 Jun;35(6):500-11. doi: 10.1039/b509907m. Epub 2006 May 10.


This tutorial review examines the fundamental aspects of a new class of contrast media for MRI based upon the chemical shift saturation transfer (CEST) mechanism. Several paramagnetic versions called PARACEST agents have shown utility as responsive agents for reporting physiological or metabolic information by MRI. It is shown that basic NMR exchange theory can be used to predict how parameters such as chemical shift, bound water lifetimes, and relaxation rates can be optimized to maximize the sensitivity of PARACEST agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media / chemistry*
  • Electrodes
  • Lanthanoid Series Elements / chemistry*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / standards
  • Magnetics*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Organometallic Compounds / chemistry*
  • Reference Standards
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Contrast Media
  • Lanthanoid Series Elements
  • Organometallic Compounds