BACKGROUND: Given the recent concerns about gadolinium-based contrast agent safety, dose reduction strategies are being investigated.
OBJECTIVE: To compare half-dose and standard full-dose gadoterate meglumine at 3-tesla (T) MRI in paediatric bone and soft-tissue diseases.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We prospectively enrolled 45 children (age range 2.7 months to 17.5 years, median age 8.7 years, 49 total anatomical segments) with bone and soft-tissue diseases (neoplastic, inflammatory/infectious, ischaemic and vascular) imaged at 3-T MRI. Two consecutive half-doses of gadoterate meglumine (0.05 mmol/kg body weight) were administered. Two sets of post-contrast T1-weighted images were obtained, one after the first half dose and the other after the second half dose. For qualitative analysis, three radiologists, masked to the gadolinium dose, compared the diagnostic quality of the images. For quantitative analysis, we compared signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio at half and full doses.
RESULTS: Signal-to-noise ratio and contrast-to-noise ratio did not vary significantly between the two groups. Qualitative analysis yielded excellent image quality in both post-contrast image datasets (Cohen κ=0.8).
CONCLUSION: In paediatric bone and soft-tissue 3-T MRI, it is feasible to halve the standard dose of gadoterate meglumine without losing image quality.