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Comparison of gadolinium dose and acquisition time for late gadolinium enhancement at 3.0 T


Although late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) is a widely used technique in daily clinical practice, the optimal contrast dose and time of acquisition at 3.0 T is unknown. Aim of our study was to compare different contrast doses and acquisition times for LGE imaging at 3.0 T.


34 patients with chronic myocardial infarction were randomized to 0.1 (n = 12), 0.15 (n = 11) and 0.2 (n = 11) mmol/Kg of gadolinium contrast (gadobenate dimeglumine - MultiHance®). T1-weighted inversion recovery gradient echo sequences were performed at 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes post-administration of contrast in all groups, with an individually adapted trigger delay at every single time point. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the scar, contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of the scar in comparison to healthy myocardium and the percentage of enhanced area volume relative to the global myocardium were quantified. A 4-point score was used to assess image quality in all studies.


No differences were observed in SNR and CNR (see Figure 1), neither between the doses being evaluated nor between the different acquisition times. Regarding enhanced area volume, at 0.1 mmol/kg of Gd contrast, imaging at 5 min yielded lower enhanced area volumes in comparison to 15 and 20 minutes (7.5 ± 4.3 vs 9 ± 3.9 vs 9.5 ± 5.4, p = 0.03 and p = 0.02, respectively) (Figure 2). No significant differences between imaging times were observed at 0.15 and 0.2 mmol/kg. Finally, when analyzing image quality at 0.20 mmol/kg Gd significant changes were observed between 5 and 15 min (2.6 ± 0.5 vs 3.2 ± 0.8, p = 0.014), 5 and 20 min (2.6 ± 0.5 vs 3, 2.6 ± 0.5 vs 0.8, p = 0.046) as well as 10 and 15 min (2.7 ± 0.5 vs 3.2 ± 0.8, p = 0.025), with no significant differences in the remaining imaging times and doses.

Figure 1

Contrast-to-noise ratio of the scar tissue compared to the non-enhanced myocardium at 3 doses and 4 different time-points.

Figure 2

Short axis views of a patient with an infarction of the basal inferior wall acquired 5, 10, 15 and 20 min after the administration of 0.10 mmol/kg Gd.


In LGE imaging at 3.0T low doses of gadolinium and early acquisitions perform equally well in terms of SNR and CNR, although a trend towards poorer image quality with early acquisitions is noted. When using lower contrast doses, early acquisition is associated with lower enhanced area volumes. As a consequence, late acquisition is preferable. Studies with sufficient diagnostic quality could be obtained using shorter protocols with low contrast doses.



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Correspondence to Adelina Doltra.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Doltra, A., Skorin, A., Schnackenburg, B. et al. Comparison of gadolinium dose and acquisition time for late gadolinium enhancement at 3.0 T. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 16, O94 (2014).

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  • Late Gadolinium Enhancement
  • Poor Image Quality
  • Gadobenate Dimeglumine
  • Late Gadolinium Enhancement Imaging
  • Contrast Dose