European Radiology

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1537–1545

Breast dynamic contrast-enhanced examinations with fat suppression: Are contrast-agent uptake curves affected by magnetic field inhomogeneity?

  • Maria A. Schmidt
  • M. Borri
  • E. Scurr
  • G. Ertas
  • G. Payne
  • E. O’Flynn
  • N. deSouza
  • M. O. Leach



To investigate the effect of magnetic field heterogeneity in breast dynamic contrast-enhanced examinations with fat saturation (DCE-FS).


The magnetic field was mapped over the breasts in ten patients. DCE-FS was undertaken at 1.5 T with fast spoiled gradient echoes and spectrally selective fat saturation. Signal intensity was calculated for T1 values 25–1,200 ms both on and off resonance, and results were verified with a test object. Clinical examinations were evaluated for the predicted effects of field heterogeneity.


Magnetic field was found to vary by 3.6 ± 1.2 ppm over the central transaxial slice and 5.1 ± 1.5 over the whole breast volume (mean ± standard deviation). Computer simulations predict a reduction in the dynamic range if field heterogeneity leads to unintended water suppression, and distortion to CA uptake curves due to fat suppression failure (for fat containing pixels). A compromise between dynamic range and fat saturation performance is required. Both water suppression and fat suppression failure are apparent in clinical examinations.


Magnetic field heterogeneity is likely to reduce the sensitivity of DCE-FS by distorting the CA uptake curves because of fat suppression failure (for fat containing pixels) and by reducing the dynamic range because of unintended water suppression.

Key Points

Magnetic field heterogeneity is significant in breast magnetic resonance.

Contrast-agent uptake curves are distorted by a non-uniform magnetic field.

Radiologist must be aware of possibility of distortion to interpret uptake curves correctly.

Compromise between fat suppression and dynamic range is required.


Magnetic resonance imaging Breast Diagnostic techniques and procedures Neoplasms Gadolinium compound 


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria A. Schmidt
    • 1
  • M. Borri
    • 1
  • E. Scurr
    • 1
  • G. Ertas
    • 1
  • G. Payne
    • 1
  • E. O’Flynn
    • 1
  • N. deSouza
    • 1
  • M. O. Leach
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Institute of Cancer ResearchSuttonUK

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