In vivo assessment of blood-spinal cord barrier permeability: serial dynamic contrast enhanced MRI of spinal cord injury

Magn Reson Imaging. 2002 May;20(4):337-41. doi: 10.1016/s0730-725x(02)00504-0.


Serial in vivo dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MRI studies were performed on spinal cord injured rats on post-injury Days 0, 10, 20 and 30 to determine the distribution of gadopentetate-dimeglumine (Gd) concentration in injured cord tissue. A two-compartment pharmacokinetic model was fitted to the time course of the concentration data at the epicenter of injury for each post-injury day. From these fits, the rates of the Gd transport between plasma and injured cord tissue were determined as a measure of blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) permeability. The results indicated that Gd transport rates decrease steadily with a concomitant improvement in motor functions of the rats with post-injury time. Specifically, the rates of Gd accumulation in injured SC tissue and its clearance correlated with the neurobehavioral scores with correlation coefficients of rho = -0.96 and -0.79, respectively, suggesting a significant link between the neurobehavioral function and the restoration of BSCB integrity as a result of the ongoing repair and recovery processes within the injured cords.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Permeability
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / diagnosis*


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA