Prior work indicates that the distribution of Gd(DTPA)(2-) (as measured by T(1)) is a good surrogate measure of the distribution of gycosaminoglycan (GAG) in cartilage. In addition to the measured T(1) in the presence of Gd(DTPA)(2-), the precision of the measurement of Gd(DTPA)(2-) concentration depends on the T(1) without Gd(DTPA)(2-) (T(o)(1)), and the relaxivity (r) of Gd(DTPA)(2-) in cartilage, parameters that are influenced by cartilage composition. These parameters were measured in native and GAG-depleted cartilage in order to estimate the bounds on the values one might expect for cartilage in arbitrary states of degeneration. The range of T(o)(1) was 0.3 sec; the range of r was 0.6 (mM*s)(-1) at 8.5 T and 1.4 (mM*s)(-1) at 2 T. These data suggest that Gd(DTPA)(2-) will be underestimated (and GAG overestimated) if the values for T(o)(1) and r are assumed to be those of native cartilage. (For example, in a severe case a 90% loss of GAG would be underestimated as a 70% loss.) Gd(HPDO3A) was investigated as a nonionic "control agent" and found to have relaxivity and diffusion properties that were comparable to Gd(DTPA)(2-) (r(Gd(HPDO3A))/r(Gd(DTPA)) approximately 1; D(Gd(HPDO3A))/D(Gd(DTPA)) approximately 0.85). Since Gd(HPDO3A) distributes uniformly through cartilage (independent of GAG), the distribution of T(1) with Gd(HPDO3A) can be used as a surrogate measure of variations in T(o)(1) and r, if present. From the perspective of transport, if Gd(HPDO3A) has fully penetrated the cartilage, Gd(DTPA)(2-) would have in the same time frame. Therefore, the data confirm the efficacy of using Gd(HPDO3A) as a "control agent" for dGEMRIC.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.