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Effects of gadolinium contrast agent on aortic blood flow and myocardial strain measurements by phase-contrast cardiovascular magnetic resonance

  • Erik Hedström
  • Karin Markenroth Bloch
  • Erik Bergvall
  • Freddy Ståhlberg
  • Håkan Arheden
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Publication/Series: Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Volume: 12
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: BioMed Central

Abstract english

Background: Quantitative blood flow and aspects of regional myocardial function such as myocardial displacement and strain can be measured using phase-contrast cardiovascular magnetic resonance (PC-CMR). Since a gadolinium-based contrast agent is often used to measure myocardial infarct size, we sought to determine whether the contrast agent affects measurements of aortic flow and myocardial displacement and strain. Phase-contrast data pre and post contrast agent was acquired during free breathing using 1.5T PC-CMR. Results: For aortic flow and regional myocardial function 12 and 17 patients were analysed, respectively. The difference pre and post contrast agent was 0.03 +/- 0.16 l/min for cardiac output, and 0.1 +/- 0.5 mm for myocardial displacement. Linear regression for myocardial displacement (MD) after and before contrast agent (CA) showed MDpostCA = 0.95MD(preCA)+0.05 (r = 0.95, p < 0.001). For regional myocardial function, the contrast-to-noise ratios for left ventricular myocardial wall versus left ventricular lumen were pre and post contrast agent administration 7.4 +/- 3.3 and 4.4 +/- 8.9, respectively (p < 0.001). The contrast-to-noise ratios for left ventricular myocardial wall versus surrounding tissue were pre and post contrast agent administration -16.9 +/- 22 and -0.2 +/- 6.3, respectively (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Quantitative measurements of aortic flow yield equal results both in the absence and presence of gadolinium contrast agent. The total examination time may thereby be reduced when assessing both viability and quantitative flow using PC-CMR, by assessing aortic flow post contrast agent administration. Phase-contrast information for myocardial displacement is also assessable both in the absence and presence of contrast agent. However, delineation of the myocardium may be difficult or impossible post contrast agent due to the lower image contrast. Acquisition of myocardial displacement should therefore be performed pre contrast agent using current PC-CMR sequences.


  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • ISSN: 1097-6647
Freddy Ståhlberg
E-mail: freddy [dot] stahlberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se


Medical Radiation Physics, Lund

+46 46 17 31 19

+46 70 688 31 19



Diagnostic Radiology, (Lund)

+46 46 17 70 30


Project manager

MR Physics