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PURPOSE: Phosphorous MR spectroscopy (31P-MRS) forms a powerful, non-invasive research tool to quantify the energetics of the heart in diverse patient populations. 31P-MRS is frequently applied alongside other radiological examinations, many of which use various contrast agents that shorten relaxation times of water in conventional proton MR, for a better characterisation of cardiac function, or following prior computed tomography (CT). It is, however, unknown whether these agents confound 31P-MRS signals, for example, 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG). METHODS: In this work, we quantitatively assess the impact of non-ionic, low osmolar iodinated CT contrast agent (iopamidol/Niopam), gadolinium chelates (linear gadopentetic acid dimeglumine/Magnevist and macrocyclic gadoterate meglumine/Dotarem) and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (ferumoxytol/Feraheme) on the nuclear T1 and T2 of 31P metabolites (ie, 2,3-DPG), and 1H in water in live human blood and saline phantoms at 11.7 T. RESULTS: Addition of all contrast agents led to significant shortening of all relaxation times in both 1H and 31P saline phantoms. On the contrary, the T1 relaxation time of 2,3-DPG in blood was significantly shortened only by Magnevist (P = .03). Similarly, the only contrast agent that influenced the T2 relaxation times of 2,3-DPG in blood samples was ferumoxytol (P = .02). CONCLUSION: Our results show that, unlike conventional proton MR, phosphorus MRS is unconfounded in patients who have had prior CT with contrast, not all gadolinium-based contrast agents influence 31P-MRS data in vivo, and that ferumoxytol is a promising contrast agent for the reduction in 31P-MRS blood-pool signal.

Original publication




Journal article


Magn Reson Med

Publication Date



contrast agent, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, phosphorus‐31