Discrete signal processing of dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging: Statistical validation and preliminary clinical application



A high-resolution image-based method was developed to analyze dynamic contrast agent-enhanced magnetic resonance images quantitatively. This method determines the initial rate of contrast agent accumulation, the delayed rate of accumulation, and the maximum enhancement in each pixel. These three parameters allow characterization of the dynamic signal features. Simulated noisy test sets of dynamic enhancement curves have shown this method to yield a fast and accurate characterization of the dynamic signal. Clinical examples of both qualitative image parameter maps and quantitative statistical analysis of the parameter distributions demonstrated the quality and potential of the technique. The technique is designed to yield imaging and quantitative information on contrast agent accumulation that can be useful in detecting residual tumor and evaluating response to therapy, while requiring less than 7 minutes of imaging time and 5 minutes of processing time per study.