European Radiology

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 642–653 | Cite as

Quantifying differences in hepatic uptake of the liver specific contrast agents Gd-EOB-DTPA and Gd-BOPTA: a pilot study

  • O. Dahlqvist Leinhard
  • N. DahlströmEmail author
  • J. Kihlberg
  • P. Sandström
  • T. B. Brismar
  • Ö. Smedby
  • P. Lundberg
Contrast Media



To develop and evaluate a procedure for quantifying the hepatocyte-specific uptake of Gd-BOPTA and Gd-EOB-DTPA using dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI.


Ten healthy volunteers were prospectively recruited and 21 patients with suspected hepatobiliary disease were retrospectively evaluated. All subjects were examined with DCE-MRI using 0.025 mmol/kg of Gd-EOB-DTPA. The healthy volunteers underwent an additional examination using 0.05 mmol/kg of Gd-BOPTA. The signal intensities (SI) of liver and spleen parenchyma were obtained from unenhanced and enhanced acquisitions. Using pharmacokinetic models of the liver and spleen, and an SI rescaling procedure, a hepatic uptake rate, K Hep, estimate was derived. The K Hep values for Gd-EOB-DTPA were then studied in relation to those for Gd-BOPTA and to a clinical classification of the patient’s hepatobiliary dysfunction.


K Hep estimated using Gd-EOB-DTPA showed a significant Pearson correlation with K Hep estimated using Gd-BOPTA (r = 0.64; P < 0.05) in healthy subjects. Patients with impaired hepatobiliary function had significantly lower K Hep than patients with normal hepatobiliary function (K Hep = 0.09 ± 0.05 min-1 versus K Hep = 0.24 ± 0.10 min−1; P < 0.01).


A new procedure for quantifying the hepatocyte-specific uptake of T 1-enhancing contrast agent was demonstrated and used to show that impaired hepatobiliary function severely influences the hepatic uptake of Gd-EOB-DTPA.

Key Points

The liver uptake of contrast agents may be measured with standard clinical MRI.

Calculation of liver contrast agent uptake is improved by considering splenic uptake.

Liver function affects the uptake of the liver-specific contrast agent Gd-EOB-DTPA.

Hepatic uptake of two contrast agents (Gd-EOB-DTPA, Gd-BOPTA) is correlated in healthy individuals.

This method can be useful for determining liver function, e.g. before hepatic surgery


Gadolinium ethoxybenzyl diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid Gadobenate Dimeglumine Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI Pharmacokinetics Liver 



Financial support from the Swedish research council (VR/M 2007–2884), the Medical Research Council of Southeast Sweden (FORSS 12621), and the Linköping University Hospital Research Foundations are gratefully acknowledged. We thank research nurse Annika Hall at the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV) for assistance with volunteer data collection.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Dahlqvist Leinhard
    • 1
    • 3
  • N. Dahlström
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • J. Kihlberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. Sandström
    • 6
  • T. B. Brismar
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ö. Smedby
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. Lundberg
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV)Linköping UniversityLinköpingSweden
  2. 2.Depts of Radiology, Linköping University and Radiology, UHL County Council of ÖstergötlandLinköpingSweden
  3. 3.Depts of Radiation Physics, Linköping University and Radiation Physics, UHL County Council of ÖstergötlandLinköpingSweden
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology at Karolinska Institutet, Division of Medical Imaging and TechnologyKarolinska University Hospital in HuddingeStockholmSweden
  5. 5.Department of RadiologyKarolinska University Hospital in HuddingeStockholmSweden
  6. 6.Division of Surgery and Clinical Oncology, Linköping University and Department of Surgery, County Council of ÖstergötlandLinköpingSweden

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