Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare contrast enhanced MR angiography (MRA) with gadopentetate dimeglumine (Gd-DTPA) to MRA with gadobenate dimeglumine (Gd-BOPTA), a high relaxivity paramagnetic contrast agent.
Materials and methods: Twelve patients referred for carotid artery stenosis were examined with MR angiography using a fast spoiled gradient echo sequence. Gd-DTPA and Gd-BOPTA enhanced MR angiography were performed within 48-72 hours using a dose of 0.1 mmol/kg for Gd-BOPTA and 0.2 mmol/kg for Gd-DTPA, at a flow rate of 2 ml/s. Images were evaluated by two blinded radiologists. Qualitative and quantitative evaluations were performed comparing the sets of images from the two examinations.
Results: Qualitative evaluation demonstrated superior arterial contrast enhancement and vessel conspicuity with Gd-BOPTA compared with Gd-DTPA. Quantita-tive evaluation showed an improvement in both signal intensity and contrast to noise ratio with Gd-BOPTA.
Conclusion: The greater relaxivity of Gd-BOPTA, at lower doses, compared with Gd-DTPA, provides higher intravascular signal and signal to noise ratio. Gd-BOPTA appears to be an optimal contrast agent for contrast enhanced MRA.