Low-dose imaging technique (LITE) MRI: initial experience in breast imaging

Br J Radiol. 2019 Nov;92(1103):20190302. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20190302. Epub 2019 Jul 11.


Objectives: To compare a low-dose dynamic contrast-enhanced breast MRI protocol (LITE MRI) to standard-dosage using a dual-dose injection technique.

Methods: 8 females with a total of 10 lesions with imaging features compatible with fibroadenoma were imaged using a dual-dose dynamic contrast-enhanced-MRI (DCE-MRI) technique. After pre-contrast scans, 15% of a standard dose of contrast was administered; approximately 10 min later, the remaining 85% of the standard dose was administered. Enhancement kinetic parameters, conspicuity and signal-to-noise ratio were measured quantitatively.

Results: One lesion showed no enhancement in either DCE series. All nine of the enhancing lesions were visualized in both the low-dose and standard-dose images. While the (low-to-standard) ratio of contrast doses was roughly 0.18, this did not match the ratios of kinetic parameters. Lesion conspicuity and enhancement rate were both higher in the low-dose images, with (low-to-standard) ratios 1.5 ± 0.1 and 1.2 ± 0.4, respectively. The upper limit of enhancement (ratio 0.3 ± 0.1) and signal-to-noise ratio (ratio 0.5 ± 0.1) were higher in the standard-dose images, but less than expected based on the ratio of the doses.

Conclusions: This preliminary study demonstrates that LITE MRI has the potential to match standard DCE-MRI in the detection of enhancing lesions. Additionally, LITE MRI may enhance sensitivity to contrast media dynamics.

Advances in knowledge: Lower doses of MRI contrast media may be equally effective in the detection of breast lesions, and increase sensitivity to contrast media dynamics. LITE MRI may help increase screening compliance and long-term patient safety.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage
  • Contrast Media / pharmacokinetics
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Fibroadenoma / diagnosis*
  • Gadolinium / administration & dosage
  • Gadolinium / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio
  • Young Adult


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium