Molecular Imaging I pp 167-175

Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 185/1)

Contrast Agents: X-ray Contrast Agents and Molecular Imaging – A Contradiction?

  • Ulrich Speck


It is the purpose of this article to discuss whether and how X-ray contrast media may contribute to molecular imaging. X-ray contrast media are small molecules containing heavy elements, preferentially iodine. Modern CT allows precise, fast and reliable quantification of contrast media concentrations in large volumes with excellent spatial resolution throughout the body. The main disadvantage is the low contrast sensitivity requiring iodine concentrations of ≥0.5 mg/ml. Various approaches of the past and the present to specific contrast agents reflecting physiological, cellular or molecular processes are presented and options for the future are discussed.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. B örner W, Moll E, Schneider P, Stucke K (1960) Zur Problematik der Thorotrastsch äden. Klinische und radiologische Untersuchungen zum Verhalten von Thorium und seiner Zerfallsprodukte im Organismus. Rofo 93:287-297Google Scholar
  2. Dawson P, Cosgrove DO, Grainger RG (eds) (1999) Textbook of contrast media. Isis Medical Media, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Difazio LT, Singhvi SM, Heald AF, McKinstry DN, Brosman SA, Gillenwater JY, Willard DA (1978) Pharmacokinetics of iodamide in normal subjects and in patients with renal impairment. J Clin Pharmacol 18:35-41PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Krause W, Schuhmann-Gampieri G (1998) Pharmacokinetics of contrast media. In: Dawson P, Clauss W (eds) Contrast media in practice. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 31-39Google Scholar
  5. Leander P, H öglund P, Kloster Y (1998) New liposomal liver-specific contrast agent for CT: first human phase I clinical trial assessing efficacy and safety. Acad Radiol 5(Suppl 1):S6-S8CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Lin SK, Moss AA, Riegelman S (1977) Iodipamide kinetics: Capacity-limited biliary excretion with simultaneous pseudo-first-order renal excretion. J Pharm Sci 66:1670-1674CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Martling U, Mattsson A, Travis LB, Holm LE, Hall P (1999) Mortality after long-term exposure to radioactive Thorotrast: a forty-year follow-up survey in Sweden. Radiat Res 151:293-299CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Contrast Agents: X-ray Contrast Agents and Molecular Imaging - A Contradiction?175Google Scholar
  9. Mitsutomo O (1930) Klinische Anwendung der “Lienographie”, einer neuen Methode zur r öntgenologischen Darstellung von Milz und Leber. Rofo 41:892-898Google Scholar
  10. Mützel W, Wegener OH, Souchon R, Weinmann H-J (1982) Water-soluble contrast agents for com-puted tomography of the liver: experimental studies in dog. In: Amiel M, Moreau JF (eds) Contrast media in radiology Appraisal and prospects. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 320-323Google Scholar
  11. Orford JL, Selwyn AP, Ganz P, Popma JJ, Rogers C (2000) The comparative pathobiology of atherosclerosis and restenosis. Am J Cardiol 86(Suppl):6H-11HGoogle Scholar
  12. Schmiedl U, Schmoll K, Horn J, Speck U, Freeny P (1994) Imaging of exocrine pancreatic function investigation of the biovailability of weak organic acids as potential pancreatic contrast agents for computed tomography. Invest Radiol 29:689-694CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Schmitz SA, H äberle JH, Balzer T, Shamsi K, Boese-Landgraf J, Wolf K-J (1997) Detection of focal liver lesions: CT of the hepatobiliary system with gadoxetic acid disodium, or Gd-EOB-DTPA. Radiology 2002:399-405Google Scholar
  14. Thakur M, Lentle BC (2005) Report of a summit on molecular imaging. Radiology 236:753-755CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Urich K, Speck U (1991) Biliary excretion of contrast media. Progr Pharmacol Clin Pharmacol 8:307-322Google Scholar
  16. Urich K (1995) Successes and failures in the development of contrast media. Blackwell, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  17. Vaupel P, Kallinowski F, Okunieff P (1989) Blood flow, oxygen and nutrient supply, and metabolic microenvironment of human tumors: a review. Cancer Research 49:6449-6465PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Violante MR, Mare K, Fischer HW (1981) Biodistribution of a particulate hepatolienographic CT contrast agent: A study of iodipamide ethyl ester in the rat. Invest Radiol 16:40-45CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Weichert JP, Lee FT, Chosy SG, Longino MA, Kuhlman JE, Helsey DE, Leverson GE (2000) Com-bined hepatocyte-selective and blood-pool contrast agents for the CT detection of experimental liver tumors in rabbits. Radiology 216:865-871PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrich Speck
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für RadiologieUniversitätsklinikum Charité - Humboldt-UniversitätBerlin-MitteGremany

Personalised recommendations