A rapid and automated method for two-dimensional spatial depiction (mapping) of quantitative physiological tissue characteristics derived from contrast enhanced MR imaging was developed and tested in disease models of cancer, inflammation, and myocardial reperfusion injury. Specifically, an established two-compartment kinetic model of unidirectional mass transport was implemented on a pixel-by-pixel basis to generate maps of tissue permeability surface area product (PS) and fractional blood volume (BV) based on dynamic MRI intensity data after administration of albumin-(Gd-DTPA)30, a prototype macromolecular contrast medium (MMCM) designed for blood pool enhancement. Maps of PS and BV in disease models of adenocarcinoma, intramuscular abscess inflammation, and myocardial reperfusion injury clearly depicted zones of increased permeability (up to approximately 500 microl/cc/h--compared to <25 microl/cc/h in normal tissues). As revealed on PS maps, the rank ordering of studied permeability abnormalities was reperfusion injury > inflammation > tumors. A rapid, automated mapping technique derived from dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI data can be used to facilitate the identification and characterization of pathophysiologic abnormalities, specifically relative increases in blood volume and/or microvascular permeability.