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Keywords:

  • magnetic resonance mammography;
  • contrast medium;
  • dynamic MRI;
  • pharmacokinetic modeling

Abstract

A dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI technique for whole breast examinations is presented. The fast kinetics of tissue response during and after constant-rate intravenous infusion of gadolinium diethylenetriaminopentaacetic acid was resolved using a strongly T1-weighted saturation recovery TurboFLASH sequence that makes it possible to acquire signal-time courses sequentially from 15 adjacent slices with a temporal sampling rate of 21 s. On the basis of the mathematically established and experimentally verified linear relationship between the measured saturation recovery TurboFLASH signal variation and the gadolinium diethylenetriaminopentaacetic acid concentration in the tissue, the signal-time courses were analyzed within the framework of pharmacokinetic modeling. In our study, the tissue response was parameterized adequately using an open linear two-compartment model. With this approach, the tissue specific information contained in the signal-time course can be described using only two parameters: an amplitude A, reflecting the degree of MR signal enhancement, and an exchange parameter k21, characterizing vascular permeability and perfusion of the tissue. A clearly arranged representation of the large amount of data (480 saturation recovery TurboFLASH breast images/examination) was accomplished by means of color coding of the computed parameters, resulting in one color-coded pharmacokinetic parameter map/cross-section.