Intraindividual, randomized comparison of the macrocyclic contrast agents gadobutrol and gadoterate meglumine in breast magnetic resonance imaging

Eur Radiol. 2015 Mar;25(3):837-49. doi: 10.1007/s00330-014-3426-0. Epub 2014 Sep 25.


Objectives: To compare intraindividually two macrocyclic contrast agents - gadobutrol and gadoterate meglumine (Gd-DOTA) - for dynamic and quantitative assessment of relative enhancement (RE) in benign and malignant breast lesions.

Methods: This was an ethically approved, prospective, single-centre, randomized, crossover study in 52 women with suspected breast lesions referred for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Each patient underwent one examination with gadobutrol and one with Gd-DOTA (0.1 mmol/kg BW) on a 1.5 T system 1 - 7 days apart. Dynamic, T1-weighted, 3D gradient echo sequences were acquired under identical conditions. Quantitative evaluation with at least three regions of interest (ROI) per lesion was performed. Primary endpoint was RE during the initial postcontrast phase after the first and second dynamic acquisition, and peak RE. All lesions were histologically proven; differences between the examinations were evaluated.

Results: Forty-five patients with a total of 11 benign and 34 malignant lesions were assessed. Mean RE was significantly higher for gadobutrol than Gd-DOTA (p < 0.0001). Gadobutrol showed significantly less washout (64.4 %) than Gd-DOTA (75.4 %) in malignant lesions (p = 0.048) CONCLUSIONS: Gadobutrol has higher RE values compared with Gd-DOTA, whereas Gd-DOTA shows more marked washout in malignant lesions. This might improve the detection of breast lesions and influence the specificity of breast MRI-imaging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Diseases / pathology*
  • Contrast Media*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Meglumine*
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult


  • Contrast Media
  • Heterocyclic Compounds
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • gadobutrol
  • Meglumine
  • gadolinium 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N,N',N'',N'''-tetraacetate
  • gadoterate meglumine