Imaging characteristics of DHOG, a hepatobiliary contrast agent for preclinical microCT in mice

Acad Radiol. 2008 Mar;15(3):342-9. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2007.10.007.


Rationale and objectives: This study was performed to assess the imaging characteristics and pharmacokinetics of 1,3-Bis-[7-(3-amino-2,4,6-triiodophenyl)-heptanoyl]-2-oleoyl glycerol (DHOG, Fenestra LC), a hepatobiliary contrast agent for microCT.

Materials and methods: We investigated the abdomen of 18 female C3H mice in a MicroCAT II microCT scanner before contrast agent injection and at multiple time points up to 48 hours after intravenous injection of DHOG (1 g I/kg body weight). The contrast agent effect was determined quantitatively and dynamically by measuring pre- and postcontrast Hounsfield units (HU) of the liver, aorta, spleen, and kidneys. Based on additional phantom measurements, the reproducibility of lesion detection was estimated for different lesion sizes.

Results: DHOG caused a marked early postcontrast enhancement of blood in the aorta and a very high enhancement of the spleen, both slowly declined after 90 minutes. The liver parenchyma showed a slow contrast agent accumulation and clearly increased HU data between 3 and 7 hours after injection. No significant renal parenchymal enhancement or excretion was noticed. At early time points after administration, DHOG exhibits characteristics of a macromolecular contrast agent by demonstrating a blood pool effect. At later time points, DHOG provides a prolonged, marked liver enhancement on microCT images due to its specific liver uptake. For a lesion size of 1 mm diameter, the variability in between two scans was 27.7 HU (P < .05) and the variability for different planes of one scan was 19.8 HU (P < .05).

Conclusions: DHOG yields a very good visualization of the liver and delineation of the surrounding structures with a long plateau. It is a very suitable contrast agent for liver imaging in mice for microCT imaging. The presented protocol provides a high reproducibility for lesion detection with a relatively low radiation dose.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aortography
  • Cholangiography / methods*
  • Contrast Media* / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Iodine Isotopes* / administration & dosage
  • Kidney / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spleen / diagnostic imaging
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Triglycerides* / administration & dosage


  • 2-oleoylglycerol-1,3-bis(7-(3-amino-2,4-6-triiodophenyl)heptanoate)
  • Contrast Media
  • Iodine Isotopes
  • Triglycerides