Lymph Node Metastases Detection Using Gd2O3@PCD as Novel Multifunctional Contrast Imaging Agent in Metabolic Magnetic Resonance Molecular Imaging

Contrast Media Mol Imaging. 2022 Oct 12:2022:5425851. doi: 10.1155/2022/5425851. eCollection 2022.


Axillary lymph node detection is crucial to staging and prognosis of the lymph node metastatic spread in breast cancer. Currently, lymphoscintigraphy and blue dye, as the conventional methods to localize sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs), are invasive and can only be performed during surgery. This study has had a novel hybrid gadolinium oxide nanoparticle coating with Cyclodextrin-based polyester as a high-relaxivity T1 magnetic resonance molecular imaging (MRMI) contrast agent (CA). Twelve female BALB/c mice were randomly divided into three groups of four mice; each group was injected with 4T1 cells to obtain metastasis lymph nodes and diagnosed by using the 3D T1W (VIBE) MRI (Siemens 3T, Prisma). The synthesized Gd2O3@PCD nanoparticles with a suitable particle size range of 20-40 nm have had much higher longitudinal relaxivity (r 1) for Gd2O3@PCD and Gd-DOTA (Dotarem) with the values of 3.98 mM-1·s-1 ± 0.003 and 2.71 mM-1·s-1 ± 0.005, respectively. Identical MR images in coronal views were subsequently obtained to create time-intensity curves of the right axillary lymph nodes and to measure the contrast ratio (CR). The peak CR and qualitative assessment of axillary lymph nodes at five-time points were evaluated. After subcutaneous injection, the contrast ratio of axillary lymph node and tumor in mice exhibited CR peak of Gd2O3@PCD and Dotarem with the values of 2.21 ± 0.06 and 0.40 ± 0.004 for lymph node and 2.54 ± 0.04 and 1.21 ± 0.007 for the tumor, respectively. Furthermore, the lumbar-aortic lymph node is weakly visible in the original coronal image. In conclusion, the use of Gd2O3@PCD nanoparticles as novel MRMI CAs enables high resolution for the detection of lymph node metastasis in mice with the potential capability for breast cancer diagnostic imaging.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial, Veterinary
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Contrast Media* / chemistry
  • Female
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Mice
  • Molecular Imaging


  • Contrast Media
  • gadoterate meglumine