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Glucose as contrast agent for MRI

Principal Investigator:
van Zijl

MRI assessment of tissue perfusion is currently mainly done using GdDTPA contrast enhancement. This contrast agent is FDA approved and used routinely throughout the country in clinical MRI scans of the brain as well as body scans. It has been successfully applied for several decades. Recently, however, the safety of GdDTPA has been challenged. People with moderate to advanced kidney failure who receive gadolinium are at risk of developing Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis/ Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NSF/NSD). In view of these issues, GdDTPA has now been labeled with a warning for NSF and patients need to be screened for renal dysfunction.

Until now, all MRI contrast agents have been paramagnetic, most containing coordinated metals. The potential toxicity of such compounds depends on the thermodynamic and kinetic stability of coordination.

Our goal is to develop non-metallic biodegradable contrast agents for MRI. Our hypothesis is that we can use an infusion of D-glucose solution to measure the combined effects of tissue perfusion and of glucose metabolism. Standard hospital grade infusion bags will be used for infusion. This purpose of this protocol is to develop this technology on human scanners, starting first by establishing a glucose infusion protocol outside the magnet, followed by infusion inside the magnet and testing for brain and breast. Our ultimate goal is to do this for tumor imaging, but a separate patient protocol will be written if the proposed test studies on normal volunteers work out well. 


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