Gadolinium oleate has been added at various concentrations to a Myverol inverse bicontinuous cubic phase forming system, and the potential of these systems as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents has been investigated. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) measurements on the Gd oleate/Myverol systems indicate that Gd oleate is at least partially incorporated within the cubic phase of Myverol. However, at Gd oleate concentrations greater than 1 wt %, partial phase separation of the system may occur with the formation of a Gd-oleate-rich lamellar phase as well as the cubic phase. Bulk Gd oleate/Myverol mixtures can be dispersed into stable colloidal dispersions. SAXS and cryo-TEM measurements on these dispersions indicate that the presence of Gd oleate in the Myverol system prevents the formation of cubosomes from the bulk cubic phase. Instead, the dispersion consists of putative Gd-oleate-rich nonswelling lamellar nanoparticles as well as colloidal particles lacking ordered internal structure. In vitro studies on these dispersions demonstrated that the relaxivity of select Gd oleate/Myverol systems is much higher than that of pure Gd oleate, exemplifying the promise of this system type for magnetic resonance imaging. The highest water proton relaxivities (r₁ = 34.2 mM⁻¹ s⁻¹ and r₂ = 27.3 mM⁻¹ s⁻¹ at 20 MHz and room temperature) were obtained at a Gd oleate loading concentration of 1 wt %, with a subsequent decrease in relaxivity with increasing Gd oleate concentration. These maximum relaxivities compare favorably with the relaxivities for the commercial contrast agent, Magnevist (r₁ = 4.91 mM⁻¹ s⁻¹ and r₂ = 6.26 mM⁻¹ s⁻¹ at 20 MHz and room temperature).