Combined T2* and T1 measurements for improved perfusion and permeability studies in high field using dynamic contrast enhancement
This study analyzed the T2* effect of extracellularly distributed gadolinium contrast agents in arterial blood during tumor studies using T1-weighted sequences at high field strength. A saturation-prepared dual echo sequence with echo times of 1.5 and 3.5 ms was employed at 3 T to simultaneously characterize T1 and T2* of arterial blood during bolus administration of Gd-DTPA in 28 patients with body tumors. T2* effect and T1 effect of Gd-DTPA on image intensity of whole blood were calibrated in human blood samples with different concentrations of contrast agent. T2* was used to estimate concentration near the peak of the bolus. T1 was used to measure lower concentrations when T2* was not significant. T2* was measurable on calibration curves for Gd-DTPA concentrations higher than 4 mM. This concentration was exceeded in 18 patients. The mean signal intensity reduction because of T2* effect was estimated at 22±14% of the T2* compensated signal. Using T2* measurements reduced underestimations of peak arterial Gd-DTPA concentration (59±38%) and overestimation of permeability Ktrans (58%). The T2* effect of gadolinium contrast agents should therefore be accounted for when performing tumors study with T1-weighted sequences at high field strength.
KeywordsDynamic contrast enhancement T2* Tumor Input function
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