A contrast agent (also called a contrast medium) is an electrically charged material used in medical imaging to enhance the contrast of medical vessels or other tissues in the body. Contrast media/contrast agent either absorbs or changes ultrasound or electromagnetism, which is fundamentally different from radiopharms, which themselves emit electromagnetic radiation. This difference enables contrast agents to be applied to various body tissues with much higher strengths than their non-comp contrast counterparts.

The most common contrast media/contrast agent used in medical imaging are CT contrast agents and MRI contrast agents. However, due to their non-magnetic nature, these medical imaging products are not able to be used on organ tissues, such as kidneys, hearts and lungs. Some manufacturers have now started manufacturing non-magnetic, biologically engineered CT and MRI contrast agents called mri-notherapy (mammography, radiofrequency ablation, and ultrasound contrast agents).

High prevalence of cancer is expected to boost demand for contrast media. In the U.S., non-magnetic, biologically engineered CT and MRI contrast agents are now being used more frequently to treat patients with benign tumors of all types. Mri-notherapy is used for benign cancers of the breast (breast cancer), abdomen (belly fat), neck, head, joint (arthritis) and spine. Patients with melanoma, anemia, inoperable basilar artery disease, and multiple myeloma are also often treated with mri-notherapy. The therapy has a high success rate for benign tumors and very low incidence of mortality, espeacially in patients undergoing surgery. Moreover, recently, in November 2020, the U.S. FDA approved GE Healthcare’s macrocyclic gadolinium-based MRI contrast agent, Clariscan (gadoterate meglumine), in pre-filled syringes.

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