Contrast agent dose effects in cerebral dynamic susceptibility contrast magnetic resonance perfusion imaging

Jeffry R. Alger, Timothy J. Schaewe, Tom C. Lai, Andrew J. Frew, Paul M. Vespa, Maria Etchepare, David S. Liebeskind, Jeffrey L. Saver, S. Chelsea Kidwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: To study the contrast agent dose sensitivity of hemodynamic parameters derived from brain dynamic susceptibility contrast MRI (DSC-MRI).Materials and Methods: Sequential DSC-MRI (1.5T gradient-echo echo-planar imaging using an echo time of 61-64 msec) was performed using contrast agent doses of 0.1 and 0.2 mmol/kg delivered at a fixed rate of 5.0 mL/second in 12 normal subjects and 12 stroke patients.Results: 1) Arterial signal showed the expected doubling in relaxation response (AR2*) to dose doubling. 2) The brain signal showed a less than doubled ΔR2* response to dose doubling. 3) The 0.2 mmol/kg dose studies subtly underestimated cerebral blood volume (CBV) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) relative to the 0.1 mmol/kg studies. 4) In the range of low CBV and CBF, the 0.2 mmol/kg studies overestimated the CBV and CBF compared with the 0.1 mmol/kg studies. 5) The 0.1 mmol/kg studies reported larger ischemic volumes in stroke. Conclusion: Subtle but statistically significant dose sensitivities were found. Therefore, it is advisable to carefully control the contrast agent dose when DSC-MRI is used in clinical trials. The study also suggests that a 0.1 mmol/kg dose is adequate for hemodynamic measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-64
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Brain
  • Contrast agent
  • Dose
  • Dynamic susceptibility contrast
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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