Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography: first-pass arterial enhancement as a function of gadolinium-chelate concentration, and the saline chaser volume and injection rate.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of the contrast medium (CM) concentration and the saline chaser volume and injection rate on first-pass aortic enhancement characteristics in contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography using a physiologic flow phantom. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Imaging was performed on a 3.0-T magnetic resonance system (MAGNETOM Trio, Siemens Healthcare Solutions, Inc, Erlangen, Germany) using a 2-dimensional fast low angle shot T1-weighted sequence (repetition time, 500 milliseconds; echo time, 1.23 milliseconds; flip angle, 8 degrees; 1 frame/s × 60 seconds). The following CM concentrations injected at 2 mL/s were used with 3 different contrast agents (gadolinium [Gd]-BOPTA, Gd-HP-DO3A, Gd-DTPA): 20 mL of undiluted CM (100%) and 80%, 40%, 20%, 10%, 5%, and 2.5% of the full amount, all diluted in saline to a volume of 20 mL to ensure equal bolus volume. The CM was followed by saline chasers of 20 to 60 mL injected at 2 mL/s and 6 mL/s. Aortic signal intensity (SI) was measured, and normalized SI versus time (SI/Tn) curves were generated. The maximal SI (SI(max)), bolus length, and areas under the SI/Tn curve were calculated. RESULTS: Decreasing the CM concentration from 100% to 40% resulted in a decrease of SI(max) to 86.1% (mean). Further decreasing the CM concentration to 2.5% decreased SI(max) to 5.1% (mean). Altering the saline chaser volume had no significant effect on SI(max). Increasing the saline chaser injection rate had little effect (mean increase, 2.2%) on SI(max) when using ≥40% of CM. There was a larger effect (mean increase, 19.6%) when ≤20% of CM were used. Bolus time length was significantly shorter (P < 0.001), and area under the SI/T(n) curve was significantly smaller (P < 0.01) for the CM protocols followed by a saline chaser injected at 6 mL/s compared with a saline chaser injected at 2 mL/s. CONCLUSION: With 40% of CM and a fast saline chaser, SImax close to that with undiluted CM can be achieved. An increased saline chaser injection rate has a more pronounced effect on aortic enhancement characteristics at lower CM concentrations than at higher CM concentrations.
Husarik, DB; Bashir, MR; Weber, PW; Nichols, EB; Howle, LE; Merkle, EM; Nelson, RC
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