High-Relaxivity MRI Contrast Agents: Where Coordination Chemistry Meets Medical Imaging



The desire to improve and expand the scope of clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has prompted the search for contrast agents of higher efficiency. The development of better agents requires consideration of the fundamental coordination chemistry of the gadolinium(III) ion and the parameters that affect its efficacy as a proton relaxation agent. In optimizing each parameter, other practical issues, such as solubility and in vivo toxicity, must also be addressed, making the attainment of safe, high-relaxivity agents a challenging goal. This Minireview presents recent advances in the field, with an emphasis on gadolinium(III) hydroxypyridinone chelate complexes.