European Radiology

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 2246–2253 | Cite as

The impact of injector-based contrast agent administration in time-resolved MRA

  • Johannes Budjan
  • Ulrike I. Attenberger
  • Stefan O. Schoenberg
  • Hubertus Pietsch
  • Gregor Jost
Contrast Media



Time-resolved contrast-enhanced MR angiography (4D-MRA), which allows the simultaneous visualization of the vasculature and blood-flow dynamics, is widely used in clinical routine. In this study, the impact of two different contrast agent injection methods on 4D-MRA was examined in a controlled, standardized setting in an animal model.


Six anesthetized Goettingen minipigs underwent two identical 4D-MRA examinations at 1.5 T in a single session. The contrast agent (0.1 mmol/kg body weight gadobutrol, followed by 20 ml saline) was injected using either manual injection or an automated injection system. A quantitative comparison of vascular signal enhancement and quantitative renal perfusion analyses were performed.


Analysis of signal enhancement revealed higher peak enhancements and shorter time to peak intervals for the automated injection. Significantly different bolus shapes were found: automated injection resulted in a compact first-pass bolus shape clearly separated from the recirculation while manual injection resulted in a disrupted first-pass bolus with two peaks. In the quantitative perfusion analyses, statistically significant differences in plasma flow values were found between the injection methods.


The results of both qualitative and quantitative 4D-MRA depend on the contrast agent injection method, with automated injection providing more defined bolus shapes and more standardized examination protocols.

Key points

Automated and manual contrast agent injection result in different bolus shapes in 4D-MRA.

Manual injection results in an undefined and interrupted bolus with two peaks.

Automated injection provides more defined bolus shapes.

Automated injection can lead to more standardized examination protocols.


Magnetic resonance angiography Magnetic resonance imaging Contrast media Perfusion MRI Contrast-enhanced MRI 



The authors state that this work did not receive any funding.

Compliance with ethical standards


The scientific guarantor of this publication is Gregor Jost.

Conflict of interest

G. Jost and H. Pietsch are employees of Bayer AG.

Statistics and biometry

No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.

Ethical approval

Approval from the institutional animal care committee was obtained.


• prospective

• experimental

• performed at one institution


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johannes Budjan
    • 1
  • Ulrike I. Attenberger
    • 1
  • Stefan O. Schoenberg
    • 1
  • Hubertus Pietsch
    • 2
  • Gregor Jost
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Radiology and Nuclear MedicineUniversity Medical Center Mannheim, Medical Faculty Mannheim – Heidelberg UniversityMannheimGermany
  2. 2.MR and CT Contrast Media ResearchBayer AGBerlinGermany

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