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The aim of this study was to compare the image quality, the degree of artifacts and the percentage of timing of the optimal hepatic arterial phase (HAP) between test-bolus and bolus-tracking methods on gadolinium–ethoxybenzyl–diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-EOB-DTPA)–enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).In this prospective study, 60 patients who underwent 3-dimensional dynamic Gd-EOB-DTPA–enhanced hepatic 3-T MRI were enrolled in this study. We randomly assigned the 30 patients to the bolus-tracking method, and another 30 patients to the test-bolus method. Signal-to-noise ratios of the liver and spleen in HAP were compared in the 2 groups. Two radiologists independently assessed the ratio of optimal timing of HAP and the degree of ringing and motion artifacts of the 2 protocols.The signal-to-noise ratios of the liver (24.0 [SD, 6.4] vs 20.4 [SD, 4.0]) and spleen (30.0 [SD, 13.3] vs 23.6 [SD, 9.9]) were significantly higher in the test-bolus protocol than in the bolus-tracking protocol. The ratio of optimal timing was also significantly higher with the test-bolus protocol than with the bolus-tracking protocol (76.7% vs 40.0%). The degree of ringing and motion artifacts of test-bolus protocol was significantly lower than that of the bolus-tracking protocol (P < 0.01).The test-bolus protocol in dynamic 3-T MRI can yield better qualitative image quality and more optimal timing of HAP images, while reducing the degree of artifacts compared with the bolus-tracking protocol.