Objective: To determine the dosage of gadobenate dimeglumine (Gd-BOPTA) necessary for MRI of rheumatoid arthritis of the wrist.
Design and patients: Seven wrists inflamed with rheumatoid arthritis were imaged using a dedicated 0.2-T MR unit. Four cumulative dosages of 0.0125, 0.025, 0.05 and 0.1 mmol/kg body weight (BW) Gd-BOPTA were tested. Three-dimensional T1-weighted gradient-recalled echo sequences (GRE; TR: 100 ms, TE: 18 ms, flip angle 90 degrees , 4:55 min) were acquired prior to an intravenous injection and after each additional dosage of Gd-BOPTA. Relative enhancement, signal-difference-to-noise ratios (SDNRs) and the size of the inflamed tissue were quantified. Three radiologists independently evaluated the image quality, the size and the contrast of the enhancing tissue.
Results: The readers agreed on a dose of 0.05 mmol/kg BW as satisfactory for the evaluation of the size of the inflammatory tissue and for determination of bone involvement (kappa = 0.9, P < 0.001). Highly inflammatory pannus was depicted with adequate image contrast using 0.025 mmol/kg BW Gd-BOPTA. According to the SDNR and relative enhancement findings, a dose of 0.05 mmol/kg BW suffices for both off-center and centered regions of tissue inflammation (t-test, P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Gadolinium-BOPTA is an alternative contrast agent for MRI of rheumatoid disease. This study shows that a dose of 0.05 mmol/kg BW suffices at low field strength.