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Contrast-enhanced whole heart coronary MRI with a bolus infusion of gadobenate dimeglumine at 1.5 t


The potential benefits of contrast agents have been studied for coronary MRI; however the contrast timing/injection rate and sequence remain to be optimized. We investigated three infusion schemes (bolus, hybrid, slow) of gadobenate dimeglumine ([Gd-BOPTA]2-, MultiHance; Bracco Imaging SpA, Milan, Italy), a high relaxivity extracellular contrast agent, for improved whole-heart coronary MRI by measuring blood T1 kinetics. Subsequently, we developed a contrast-enhanced whole-heart coronary MRI method at 1.5 T using an inversion-recovery SSFP sequence acquired after a bolus infusion.


Four healthy adult subjects were imaged three times each using three infusion schemes: a) bolus (0.2mmol/kg@2ml/s), b) hybrid (0.1mmol/kg@2ml/s plus 0.1mmol/kg@0.1ml/s), and c) slow (0.2mmol/kg@ 0.3ml/s). A Look-Locker sequence was used for quantitative T1 measurements. Subsequently, seven healthy subjects were recruited for evaluation of a contrast-enhanced whole-heart coronary MRI with a bolus infusion. Free-breathing SSFP coronary MRI (TR/TE/α = 3.6/1.8/90°, FOV = 300 × 300 × 120 mm3, resolution = 1.3 × 1.3 × 1.3 mm3, T2-Prep, ×2 accelerated) was performed before contrast injection. Gd-BOPTA (0.2mmol/kg@2ml/s) was injected intravenously, immediately followed by a Look-Locker sequence to visually determine the optimal inversion time. A contrast-enhanced whole-heart coronary was then acquired with identical imaging parameters with the exception of replacing the T2-Prep with a non-selective inversion pulse. For both acquisitions, a noise scan was performed immediately after acquisition. The blood SNR and blood-myocardium CNR were measured.


Figure 1 shows the blood T1 during the first 10 min after contrast injection. The bolus injection yields the fastest and largest T1 reduction in the initial 1-2 minutes. Slow infusion reduces the T1 at a slower pace than bolus, but was similar to bolus 2-3 min after injection. A hybrid infusion results in the lowest decrease in T1, but also the most stable. Figure 2 shows a comparison of contrast-enhanced and non-contrast coronary images. The coronary SNR and CNR were significantly improved by 36% (58.5 ± 18.7 vs. 79.5 ± 17.5) and 101% (27.3 ± 11.4 vs. 55.0 ± 12.1), respectively (p < 0.003 for both). Figure 3 shows reformatted examples of the LAD, which shows improved visualization of mid and distal LAD.

Figure 1
figure 1

Time course of blood T 1 up to 10 minutes after contrast injection using three infusion schemes.

Figure 2
figure 2

Example coronary images acquired on a healthy subject using an SSFP sequence before (top row) and after (bottom row) a bolus injection of Gd-BOPTA.

Figure 3
figure 3

Reformatted non-contrast (a) and contrast-enhanced (b) LAD images. The improved suppression of myocardial signal using Gd-BOPTA facilities depiction of mid and distal right coronary artery.


Contrast-enhanced whole heart coronary MRI with a bolus infusion of Gd-BOPTA using inversion-recovery SSFP at 1.5 T results in enhanced SNR and CNR.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Hu, P., Chan, J., Smink, J. et al. Contrast-enhanced whole heart coronary MRI with a bolus infusion of gadobenate dimeglumine at 1.5 t. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 12 (Suppl 1), P51 (2010).

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