Wash-in kinetics for gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of carotid atheroma

Bruce A. Wasserman, Suzette G. Casal, Brad C. Astor, Anthony H. Aletras, Andrew E. Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To determine the wash-in kinetics of intravenous gadolinium into the fibrous cap and lipid core of carotid atheroma, and identify the time following gadolinium administration that maximizes contrast between the cap and core. Materials and Methods: Seven subjects with carotid artery stenosis were studied. Magnetic resonance (MR) images of the atheroma were acquired using a single-inversion-recovery fast-spin-echo (IR FSE) sequence, which was serially repeated during the first 30 minutes following intravenous gadolinium administration. Postcontrast time was divided into three intervals: <10, 11-20, and >21 minutes. Adjusted signal intensity (SI), signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) values for postcontrast images were compared to adjusted precontrast values. Results: The mean SNRs of the cap and core were significantly elevated in each postcontrast interval compared with mean precontrast values. The CNRs of the cap vs. the core increased by 19.8% (3.03 to 4.14, P = 0.03) in the first 10 minutes following gadolinium administration, and remained elevated over the next two intervals with a slight decrease in the final interval. Conclusion: Increased signal and contrast between the cap and core can be achieved by imaging up to 30 minutes following gadolinium administration, with peak enhancement occurring in the first 10 minutes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-95
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Carotid arteries
  • Contrast agents
  • Gadolinium
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Stenosis or obstruction
  • Vascular studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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