Gd-enhanced MR imaging of brain metastases: contrast as a function of dose and lesion size

Magn Reson Imaging. 1997;15(5):535-41. doi: 10.1016/s0730-725x(97)00015-5.


MR imaging contrast of brain metastases after cumulative doses of gadolinium chelate is quantitated and compared in order to assess the clinical utility of high dosage. T1-weighted spin-echo MR images of 39 patients with metastatic brain tumors were made before and after each of three equal doses cumulating to 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 mmol Gd-complex per kg body weight. Quantitation of MRI contrast was limited to homogeneous brain metastases larger than 3 mm (n = 246). Post-Gd MRI contrast doubled with dose escalation from 0.1 to 0.3 mmol/kg and also increased with lesion size, by a factor of 2.5 between metastases of 3 and 16 mm diameter, that is after correcting for partial volume effect. At 0.2 and 0.3 mmol/kg the respective numbers of visible metastases increased by 15% and 43% compared with 0.1 mmol/kg (p < 0.0001, both). Image contrast figures differed significantly between doses (p = 0.018). Both the number of metastases and the image contrast is significantly higher when dose escalation is performed. It is indicated that the number of detected metastases will increase further at Gd doses beyond 0.3 mmol/kg. Post-Gd MRI contrast increases with lesion size, to an extent that can not be attributed to partial volume attenuation.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Organometallic Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Pentetic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Pentetic Acid / analogs & derivatives*


  • Contrast Media
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Pentetic Acid
  • Gadolinium DTPA