Magnetic particle imaging has emerged as a new technique for the visualization and quantification of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. It seems to be a very promising application for cardiovascular interventional radiology. A prerequisite for interventions is the artifact-free visualization of the required instruments and implants. Various commercially available catheters, guide wires, and a catheter experimentally coated with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles were tested regarding their signal characteristics using magnetic particle spectroscopy to evaluate their performance in magnetic particle imaging. The results indicate that signal-generating and non-signal-generating instruments can be distinguished. Furthermore, coating or loading non-signal-generating instruments with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles seems to be a promising approach, but optimized nanoparticles need yet to be developed. Magn Reson Med, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.