Purpose: To prospectively compare 0.5-M gadopentetate dimeglumine (Gd-DTPA) with 1.0-M gadobutrol for contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CE-MRA) of the blood supplying arteries of the spinal cord in patients referred for open surgical repair of a thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA).
Materials and methods: A total of 11 patients with a TAAA underwent two three-dimensional CE-MRA exams of the aorta, segmental arteries (SAs), artery of Adamkiewicz (AKA), and anterior spinal artery (ASA). Imaging was performed on two separate occasions using Gd-DTPA and gadobutrol as contrast agents at 0.3 mmol/kg. Images were evaluated by measuring signal-to-noise (SNR) and contrast-to-noise (CNR) ratios and were judged for different image quality criteria by two blinded observers.
Results: In all patients both CE-MRA exams were of sufficient image quality to detect the AKA and ASA. No significant differences in SNR and CNR were observed between the two contrast agents. According to the observers, no significant differences in subjective image quality were found.
Conclusions: Using both contrast agents it was possible to visualize the ultrasmall spinal cord arteries in all cases. The use of the 1.0-M contrast agent did not improve image quality of CE-MRA images of the blood supplying arteries of the spinal cord compared to the 0.5-M contrast agent.