Comparison of the Timing of Hepatic Arterial Phase and Image Quality Using Test-Bolus and Bolus-Tracking Techniques in Gadolinium–Ethoxybenzyl–Diethylenetriamine Pentaacetic Acid–Enhanced Hepatic Dynamic Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Abstract

Objectives

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).

Methods

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.

Results

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).

Conclusions

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.

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