MR angiography of carotid artery aneurysms in a porcine model at 3 Tesla: comparison of two different macrocyclic gadolinium chelates and of dynamic and conventional techniques

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2012 Nov;36(5):1203-12. doi: 10.1002/jmri.23757. Epub 2012 Jul 23.


Purpose: To evaluate the differences in image quality of two macrocyclic gadolinium-based contrast agents, gadobutrol and gadoterate meglumine, using time-resolved, contrast-enhanced MR angiography (CE-MRA) in a porcine carotid artery aneurysm model and to compare image quality between dynamic and conventional, single acquisition CE-MRA.

Materials and methods: Bilateral carotid aneurysms were created surgically in this Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approved study. Dynamic CE-MRA studies optimized for high temporal resolution were performed at 3 Tesla. Scans using equivalently dosed (on a per mmol basis) gadobutrol and gadoterate meglumine were compared qualitatively and quantitatively in terms of contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). Higher spatial resolution dynamic and conventional CE-MRA were also compared.

Results: N = 16 aneurysms were assessed. Qualitative evaluation of dynamic CE-MRA scans demonstrated a preference for gadobutrol over gadoterate meglumine. Significantly higher aneurysm CNR was found with gadobutrol (133 ± 44) versus gadoterate meglumine, the latter at both equivalent and double injection rates (94 ± 35 and 102 ± 38). In a blinded assessment, conventional CE-MRA was preferred qualitatively when compared with dynamic CE-MRA. However, dynamic CE-MRA was generally capable of providing diagnostic image quality.

Conclusion: Gadobutrol is preferred to gadoterate meglumine for high temporal resolution dynamic CE-MRA, a fact with important clinical implications for low dose CE-MRA protocols in patients at risk for nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. Conventional high resolution CE-MRA provides superior image quality when compared with dynamic CE-MRA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / pathology*
  • Chelating Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Contrast Media
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods*
  • Meglumine*
  • Organometallic Compounds*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Swine


  • Chelating Agents
  • Contrast Media
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • gadobutrol
  • Meglumine
  • gadoterate meglumine