Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the relative values of MR images obtained with a triple dose of gadodiamide and MR images obtained with the standard dose of gadopentetate dimeglumine for the detection and determination of the extent of tumors of the head and neck.
Materials and methods: Forty-two patients with benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck were examined with contrast-enhanced MR imaging in a comparison of a triple dose of gadodiamide (0.3 mmol per kilogram body weight) and a standard dose (0.1 mmol per kilogram body weight) of gadopentetate dimeglumine. All patients underwent MR imaging with both doses of contrast material. Contrast-to-noise ratios and the percentage enhancement of normal and abnormal structures were calculated, and delineation of the lesion and the contrast between tumor and surrounding tissue were evaluated visually.
Results: Statistical analysis (Friedman test and Wilcoxon test) of the contrast-to-noise ratios between tumor and white matter, the percentage enhancement, and the visual assessment rating revealed a statistically significant superiority of the triple dose of gadodiamide over the standard dose of gadopentetate dimeglumine. Tumor/muscle contrast-to-noise ratios were not significantly different with the two doses. The detection rate for tumors was no better with the triple dose of gadodiamide than with the standard dose of gadopentetate dimeglumine.
Conclusion: Use of the triple dose of gadodiamide results in a statistically significant improvement in the visual assessment rating, but it does not increase the number of tumors detected on MR images over the number detected with the standard dose of gadopentetate dimeglumine and does not appear to alter the differential diagnosis.