Rationale and objectives: To evaluate the clinical potential of high-resolution 3D contrast-enhanced blood oxygenation level-dependent MR-Venography (CE-MRV) for primary brain tumors and metastases at 3 Tesla (T) in comparison to 1.5 T.
Methods: Eighteen patients with brain tumors were examined using CE-MRV after application of a standard dose of MRI contrast agent (0.1 mmol/kg gadodiamide). CE-MRV is based on a high-resolution 3D flow-compensated gradient-echo sequence with long echo times that uses the contrast-enhanced blood oxygenation level-dependent effect. This technique was performed using the same volume coverage and acquisition time at both field strengths after performing standard imaging sequences.
Results: The higher spatial resolution of CE-MRV at 3 T showed more details within and around tumors than at 1.5 T. Visibility was enhanced by stronger susceptibility weighting and higher intrinsic signal-to-noise at 3 T. Compared with standard imaging protocols, additional information characterized as tubular and nontubular hypointense structures were found within or around lesions on CE-MRV images.
Conclusions: Acquisition of CE-MRV data at 3 T enables spatial resolution to be increased within the same measurement time and with the same volume coverage compared with 1.5 T, thus providing more detailed information. The method may also show the potential to estimate oxygen supply of tumors, especially at high field strengths.