, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 318-325
Date: 09 Aug 2010

Combined magnetic resonance imaging of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary arteries after a single injection of a blood pool contrast agent

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Agreement rate between magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Doppler ultrasound (DUS) for the detection of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the lower extremities was attempted by using the intravascular MRI contrast agent gadofosveset trisodium. The potential of this method to detect pulmonary embolism (PE) was also evaluated.

Material and Methods

Forty-three consecutive inpatients with ultrasound-confirmed DVT but no clinical signs of PE were prospectively enrolled in this feasibility study. MRI was performed after a single injection of gadofosveset trisodium. The pulmonary arteries were imaged using a 3D Fast Low Angle Shot (FLASH) gradient recalled echo sequence. Additionally, pulmonary arteries, abdominal veins, pelvic and leg veins were imaged using a fat-suppressed 3D gradient echo Volume Interpolated Breath-hold Examination (VIBE FS).


Gadofosveset trisodium-enhanced MRI detected more thrombi in the pelvic region, upper leg and lower leg than the initial DUS. In addition, PE was detected in 16 of the 43 DVT patients (37%).


This study shows the feasibility of a combined protocol for the MRI diagnosis of DVT and PE using gadofosveset trisodium. This procedure is not only more sensitive in detecting DVT compared to standard DUS, but is also able to detect PE in asymptomatic patients.