Preliminary evaluation of iron phytate (inositol hexaphosphate) as a gastrointestinal MR contrast agent

Evan C. Unger, Thomas A. Fritz, David Palestrant, Thomas J. Meakem, Per Granstrom, Robert A. Gatenby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A simple, effective, safe, and well‐tolerated contrast agent is needed as a bowel marker for magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. The authors tested a variety of foodstuffs admixed with ferric iron as potential gastrointestinal MR contrast agents. Phytate (inosi‐tol hexaphosphate) more than doubled the relaxiv‐ity of solutions of ferric iron. Because of the improved relaxivity of iron phytate, the concentration of iron could be reduced substantially relative to free ferric iron (eg, ferric chloride or ferric ammonium citrate). Imaging studies were performed in five volunteers to determine the optimal dose of iron phytate and in five additional volunteers to test its effectiveness. A 200 mg/L concentration of ferric iron with phytate functions as an effective gastrointestinal MR contrast agent for T1‐weighted abdominal MR imaging, significantly improving bowel contrast (P <.01). Blood studies after contrast agent administration showed no appreciable increase in serum iron. Compared with standard chelate complexcs that decrease the relaxivity of a given paramagnetic ion, phytate not only decreases the absorption of the iron but increases its relaxivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Contrast enhancemen
  • Iron
  • ntestines, MR, 70.1214
  • ontrast medi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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