To evaluate the performance of a gadolinium-based contrast compound (P846) as well as an ultra-small particle of iron oxide agent (P904) in contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) in rabbits and to compare those agents with gadoterate meglumine (Gd-DOTA) for first pass and steady state imaging.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 6 rabbits underwent contrast-enhanced MRA of the aorta and its branches at 3 different time points. All examinations were performed on a 1.5T MR (Siemens HealthCare, Magnetom Espree), and the contrast agents were applied in random order. Image data were acquired using a time-resolved MRA sequence (time-resolved angiography with stochastic trajectories) during the first pass to assess the bolus phase and a high-resolution MRA sequence followed by repetitive measurements over the next 10 minutes for all 3 agents to evaluate the postbolus phase. Two radiologists reviewed the images in consensus blinded to the contrast agent used. Signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio for three-dimensional high-resolution MRA were calculated for each time point and agent. Image quality was consensually evaluated on a 4-point Likert scale. A Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney U test was used for comparison with P < 0.05 as level of statistical significance.
All agents led to diagnostic MR angiograms in all 6 rabbits. The time-resolved angiography with stochastic trajectories datasets provided detailed information about the bolus phase for all the 3 agents. During the first pass, P904 and P846 proved to be superior to Gd-DOTA with the highest peak enhancement for P846. In the postbolus phase up to 10 minutes postcontrast injection, P904 proved to be superior to the other agents. All the agents led to excellent image quality, with no statistical difference to a maximum of 3 minutes postinjection, whereas thereafter images with Gd-DOTA and P846 were assessed as nondiagnostic.
P846 and P904 proved to be superior to Gd-DOTA for time-resolved MRA. The ultra-small particle of iron oxide compound P904 showed continuous high signal over 10 minutes and seems to be best suited for first pass and steady-state imaging.