Optimization of single injection liver arterial phase gadolinium enhanced MRI using bolus track real-time imaging

Puneet Sharma, Bobby Kalb, Hiroumi D. Kitajima, Khalil N. Salman, Bobbie Burrow, Gaye L. Ray, Diego R. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Purpose: To measure contrast agent enhancement kinetics in the liver and to further evaluate and develop an optimized gadolinium enhanced MRI using a single injection real-time bolus-tracking method for reproducible imaging of the transient arterial-phase. Materials and Methods: A total of 18 subjects with hypervascular liver lesions were imaged with four dimensional (4D) perfusion scans to measure time-to-peak (TTP) delays of arterial (aorta-celiac axis), liver parenchyma, liver lesion, portal, and hepatic veins. Time delays were calculated from the TTP-aorta signal, and then related to the gradient echo (GRE) k-space acquisition design, to determine optimized timing for real-time bolus-track triggering methodology. As another measure of significance, 200 clinical patients were imaged with 3D-GRE using either a fixed time-interval or by individualized arterial bolus real-time triggering. Bolus TTP-aorta was calculated and arterial-phase acquisitions were compared for accuracy and reproducibility using specific vascular enhancement indicators. Results: The mean bolus transit-time to peak-lesion contrast was 8.1 ± 2.7 seconds following arterial detection, compared to 32.1 ± 5.4 seconds from contrast injection, representing a 62.1% reduction in the time-variability among subjects (N = 18). The real-time bolus-triggered technique more consistently captured the targeted arterial phase (94%), compared to the fixed timing technique (73%), representing an expected improvement of timing accuracy in 28% of patients (P = 0.0001389). Conclusion: Our results show detailed timing window analysis required for optimized arterial real-time bolus-triggering acquisition of transient arterial phase features of liver lesions, with optimized arterial triggering expected to improve reproducibility in a significant number of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • arterial-phase
  • liver
  • perfusion
  • timing
  • tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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