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The enhancement of ascites following intravenous administration of Gd-DTPA on MRI was investigated.Magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 20 patients with ascites (8 peritoneal carcinomatosis, 2 tuberculous peritonitis, 8 liver cirrhosis, 1 nephrotic syndrome, 1 peritoneal adhesion), and T1-weighted SE images were obtained before and 15–20 min following intravenous administration of Gd-DTPA (0.1 mmol/kg).There were 10 exudative ascites and 10 transudative ascites. Eight of 10 exudative ascites showed enhancement, in contrast to none of 10 transudative ascites. The precontrast signal intensity ratios (SIRs) of exudative ascites were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those of transudative ascites, and the postcontrast SIRs of exudative ascites were significantly higher (p < 0.01) than those of transudative ascites. This difference was thought to be caused by increased peritoneal permeability and higher protein concentration in the cases with exudative ascites in this study.It is concluded that enhancement of ascites on MRI obtained 15–20 min after intravenous administration of Gd-DTPA is not an uncommon finding in exudative ascites (especially associated with peritoneal carcinomatosis).