Posted: May 22nd, 2023
Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) has been employed as an imaging modality (1). Increased proportional use of MRA (2, 4) resulted in inverse proportional reliance on Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA). The advancement of technology has played a leading role in the improvement of MRA spatial and temporal resolution (17). MRA contrast agents are divided into two broad categories based on the mode of action as a function of the presence of binding property of the contrast agent or absence of binding property of the contrast agent to different macromolecules like protein (6, 15, 17). The two categories of contrast agents are namely the extracellular contrast agents (ECCA) and the intravascular contrast agents (IVCA). The IVCA is also termed a blood pool contrast agent. This essay compares and contrasts ECCA and IVCA.
Contrast agents are named based on the mechanism through which they flow (2). For instance, contrast agents that could be intravenously injected and flow through extra-cellular spaces are termed ECCA (2, 12). The IVCA diffuses out of vascular spaces after injection into interstitial spaces. IVCA binds with molecules of protein. This makes it possible for the IVCA to demonstrate higher retention in the circulatory system compared to ECCA
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