Relaxivity and diffusion of gadolinium agents in cartilage

Magn Reson Med. 2002 Dec;48(6):1068-71. doi: 10.1002/mrm.10327.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cartilage, Articular / metabolism*
  • Cartilage, Articular / physiology
  • Cattle
  • Contrast Media
  • Culture Techniques
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Gadolinium DTPA / pharmacokinetics*
  • Gadolinium DTPA / pharmacology
  • Glycosaminoglycans / analysis
  • Glycosaminoglycans / metabolism*
  • Probability
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Contrast Media
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • glucosaminoglycans
  • Gadolinium DTPA