MRI contrast is used to improve the visibility of internal human body structures in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The most commonly used compounds for contrast enhancement are gadolinium-based.
Gadolinium, which is a paramagnetic metal ion, is commonly used in contrast MRIs because of the way it travels within magnetic fields. In fact, it’s used in about 30 percent of MRI scans.
After placing a tourniquet around your hand or arm, your technician will use an IV or a small butterfly needle to inject the gadolinium or another type of contrast material. Roughly 10-20 milliliters of dye will be injected into your vein. The injection takes from 10-30 seconds.
Next, the radiologist removes the needle and places you into an MRI machine for your scan. The gadolinium contrast medium can also be administered by using an automated injector.