In vitro comparison of intracranial stent visibility using various concentrations of gadolinium contrast agent under 1.5 T and 3 T MR angiography

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Background and purpose

MR angiography (MRA) is an increasingly used evaluation method following intracranial stenting. However, the various artifacts created by the stent limit this technique. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of various concentrations of gadolinium contrast agent on the visibility and signal characteristics of two stents using the a contrast enhanced MRA technique.

Material and method

Two intracranial stents (Enterprise and Helistent) were placed in polyvinyl chloride tubes as vascular phantoms. They were filled with six different doses of gadolinium contrast agent (1.0, 2.0, 4.0, 6.0, 8.0, and 10.0 mmol/L dimeglumine gadopentetate, respectively) and imaged using 3 T and 1.5 T MR systems. Relative in-stent signal (RIS) was calculated and artificial luminal narrowing (ALN) was obtained using pixel by pixel analysis.


The Enterprise stent, performed in both 1.5 T and 3 T MR systems, showed mean RIS values much less than those for the Helistent for all different doses of gadolinium solution. Increased gadolinium concentration resulted in a gradual reduction in RIS values in the Enterprise group. Also, ALN in the Enterprise group showed no or little change with various gadolinium doses.


The Enterprise stent demonstrated good luminal visibility regardless of gadolinium concentration. The relative in-stent signals were more predictable in the Enterprise stent with various doses of gadolinium. Therefore, the Enterprise stent has been shown to provide better in-stent visibility compared with the Helistent using various gadolinium doses.

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