MR imaging of mediastinal lymph nodes: Evaluation using a superparamagnetic contrast agent

Harpreet K. Pannu, Ko Pen Wang, Tracy L. Borman, David A. Bluemke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine whether intravenous injection of a magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agent, ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (ferumoxtran-10), can be useful in characterizing lymph nodes in patients with lung cancer. Twelve patients with known or suspected lung cancer were studied. Pre- and postcontrast injection of ferumoxtran-10 MR scans of the chest were obtained. Analysis of the signal intensities and bronchoscopic fine needle aspiration of a single node were performed in each patient. Six of 12 patients had a final diagnosis of lung cancer. T1-weighted images were best for localizing mediastinal lymph nodes. Signal intensity changes before and after contrast were best visualized on T2-weighted and gradient-echo images. All four patients with lung cancer who had nodes positive for malignancy at biopsy had no change in signal intensity of the nodes on T2 images. The signal intensity decreased in the remaining two patients, and the nodes were benign. Of the eight patients with benign disease, five had no change in signal intensity of the nodes. Therefore the sensitivity for tumor involvement of the nodes is 100%, but the specificity is only 37.5%. Ferumoxtran-10 is a contrast agent that can alter the signal intensity of lymph nodes. Lack of signal change may be due to malignant or inflammatory change. Studies in a larger population of lung cancer patients may help to characterize the utility of this agent further. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-904
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 12 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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