Pyogenic liver abscess: Contrast-enhanced MR imaging in rats

R. Weissleder, S. Saini, D. D. Stark, G. Elizondo, C. Compton, J. Wittenberg, J. T. Ferrucci

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MR imaging was used to evaluate experimentally induced pyogenic liver abscesses in an animal model. Rats were examined before and after IV administration of either gadolinium-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA), ferrite particles, or both contrast agents together. Pyogenic liver abscesses appeared hypointense on T1-weighted images and hyperintense on T2-weighted images. Bolus administration of Gd-DTPA using a fast spin-echo sequence with repetition time of 250 msec and echo time of 20 msec (SE 250/20) showed transient selective enhancement of normal hepatic tissue and increased lesion conspicuity, quantitatively assessed by the contrast-to-noise ratio, which increased from -35.7 to -59.0. Delayed leakage of Gd-DTPA into the abscess center partially obscured small lesions at 30-60 min. Ferrite particles reduced the signal intensity of normal liver, and the abscess then appeared homogenously hyperintense. Applying the SE 500/32 sequence, the contrast-to-noise ratio increased from -1.2 to +74.0. Coordinated administration of both contrast agents showed a further increase in contrast to +94.0, with a hyperintense abscess rim surrounded by hypointense liver. Gd-DTPA increases abscess-liver contrast by rim enhancement of the abscess wall, and ferrite increases the abscess-liver contrast by selectively decreasing the signal intensity of surrounding normal liver. As a result of increased contrast-to-noise ratio, both contrast agents, alone or in combination, increase the conspicuity of hepatic abscesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this

Weissleder, R., Saini, S., Stark, D. D., Elizondo, G., Compton, C., Wittenberg, J., & Ferrucci, J. T. (1987). Pyogenic liver abscess: Contrast-enhanced MR imaging in rats. American Journal of Roentgenology, 150(1), 115-120.