Malignant extradural spinal tumors: MR imaging with Gd-DTPA

Radiology. 1988 Apr;167(1):217-23. doi: 10.1148/radiology.167.1.3347725.


Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with gadolinium diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) was performed in 12 patients with neoplasia of the spine and epidural space. Postcontrast images were compared with precontrast images. Gd-DTPA MR images did not improve the detection of tumors affecting the epidural space of the spine. In fact, many lesions were isointense when compared with the intensity of the surrounding bone marrow and were difficult to see. Because of this, contrast material-enhanced images were not sufficient; however, when they were combined with precontrast images, the use of Gd-DTPA improved the delineation and characterization of certain lesions. Gd-DTPA MR images were helpful in differentiating disk herniation from epidural tumors, indicating regions of more active tumor for biopsy, outlining areas of spinal cord compression, and demonstrating tumor response to therapy. Therefore, while it may be unlikely that Gd-DTPA will be used routinely in every case of suspected neoplasia of the epidural space, contrast-enhanced images will undoubtedly have an adjunctive role in certain clinical applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Epidural Space
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Gadolinium*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds*
  • Pentetic Acid*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / diagnosis*


  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Pentetic Acid
  • Gadolinium
  • Gadolinium DTPA