Indication-related dosing for magnetic resonance contrast media
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This presentation reviews the issue of contrast media dosing and imaging protocols for the optimal MR imaging detection and characterization of pathology. The cumulative clinical experience gained in performing contrast-enhanced MR examinations with gadolinium chelates indicates that a dose of 0.1 mmol/kg body weight provides safe and effective enhancement of most CNS pathology. Doses lower than 0.1 mmol/kg have been shown to be inadequate for delineating all but selected types of CNS pathology, such as masses with a high lesion to background ratio on post-contrast images (acoustic neuromas) or lesions located in areas in which the normal tissue very rapidly takes up contrast agent (e. g. microadenomas in the pituitary gland). Recent clinical studies have suggested a role for high dose gadolinium administration (up to 0.3 mmol/kg) for the optimal detection and delineation of cerebral metastases or other small or poorly enhancing lesions. Differences in the histopathologic characteristics (capillary permeability, vascularity, location, size) of specific diseased tissues may require varying doses or even a different contrast agent to be used for optimal imaging results. As new MR contrast agents and new scanning techniques are introduced, the specific diagnostic question posed will likely determine the choice of pulse sequence, contrast agent and dose used.