A comparison between IEEC, a new biodegradable particulate contrast medium, and iohexol in a tumor model of computed tomography imaging of the liver

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RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES. Higher contrast between normal and pathologic tissues in the liver may enable detection of smaller lesions in computed tomography (CT). This can be obtained using a liver-specific contrast medium. The authors evaluate a new agent, IEEC (1'-Ethyloxycarbonyloxy)-ethyl-5-acetylamino-3-(N-methyl-acetylami no)-2,4,6- triiodo-benzenecarboxylate), in an animal model, as a potential contrast agent for CT scanning of the liver. The IEEC particulate contrast medium used is based on a prodrug ester design of metrizoic acid and accumulates rapidly in the liver. The particles are quickly degraded into well-known metabolites and excreted from the body. METHODS. Two groups of rabbits were inoculated with VX2-carcinoma directly into the liver by laparotomy. Computed tomography imaging studies were carried out 9 and 11 days after the inoculation. The investigation was designed as a crossover study. The first group was imaged both as controls (without contrast medium) and with the particulate contrast medium on the 9th day and with iohexol on the 11th day. The second group was imaged with iohexol on the 9th day and as controls, and with the particulate contrast medium on the 11th day. The contrast medium was administered in a dose of 100 mgI/kg. Iohexol was administered in a dose of 570 mgI/kg according to a standard clinical scheme in use at a radiology department for dynamic CT. Changes in normal liver/lesion contrast and the conspicuity of tumors were assessed. On completion of imaging studies on day 11, all animals were killed. The liver was removed and evaluated for the presence of tumors. RESULTS. At macroscopic inspection, all rabbits were found to have tumors ranging from 2 to 14 mm in diameter. The size and location of the tumors corresponded well with the CT images. In the images where the particulate contrast medium was used, the attenuation in the normal liver parenchyma and the contrast between normal liver and lesion was significantly higher compared with the images where iohexol was used or the controls. For all tumor sizes, the lesion detection capability with the particulate contrast medium was significantly higher compared with iohexol (P < .005) and controls (P < .05). CONCLUSIONS. VX2-carcinoma in rabbit liver is a useful model for studying the efficacy of contrast media in CT imaging. The particulate contrast medium IEEC improved visualization of liver tumors.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-519
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Publication categoryResearch