Rapid T(1)-weighted 3D spoiled gradient-echo (GRE) data sets were acquired in the abdomen of 23 cancer patients during a total of 113 separate visits to allow dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) analysis of tumor microvasculature. The arterial input function (AIF) was measured in each patient at each visit using an automated AIF extraction method following a standardized bolus administration of gadodiamide. The AIFs for each patient were combined to obtain a mean AIF that is representative for any individual. The functional form of this general AIF may be useful for studies in which AIF measurements are not possible. Improvements in the reproducibility of DCE-MRI model parameters (K(trans), v(e), and v(p)) were observed when this new, high-temporal-resolution population AIF was used, indicating the potential for increased sensitivity to therapy-induced change.
(c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.