Gadobutrol (Gd-Bt; Gadovist®, Schering AG) is a 1-M Gadolinium (Gd)-based contrast agent. Its higher Gd concentration allows for reduction of injection volumes in first pass contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CE-MRA) and should increase bolus sharpness and image quality. However, ambivalent results were reported. In order to explore the performance of 1-M contrast agents such as Gd-Bt and its dependence on molecular environment and temperature, signal characteristics were analyzed for a series of increasing Gd-Bt concentrations for different temperature-controlled samples in water and human blood plasma. Relaxation times, relaxivities, and signal-concentration curves were assessed for several Gd-Bt concentrations in water at 20°C and 37°C and in plasma at 37°C for 1.5T and 3T. Gd-Bt concentration influence on signal intensity (SI) could be effectively simulated and compared with experimental measurements as well as simulations with other contrast agents at realistic in vivo concentrations. Particular attention was given to T2- and T 2*-induced losses at high concentrations, which annihilate benefits from T1 shortening. Based on these findings, variable echo time (VTE) approaches with readout bandwidth varying with k-space position were explored in order to enhance the signal to noise performance of gradient echo imaging at high contrast agent concentrations. Results indicate the potential of VTE for imaging with increased SNR at high contrast agent concentrations.
- Contrast agent
- Gadobutrol (Gadovist)
- Relaxivities and field strength
- Variable bandwidth
- Variable echo time (VTE)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging