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Open Access Research article

In vivo transport of Gd-DTPA2- into human meniscus and cartilage assessed with delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC)

Ulf Sigurdsson1*, Carl Siversson2, Eveliina Lammentausta3, Jonas Svensson4, Carl-Johan Tiderius5 and Leif E Dahlberg6

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthopaedics, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, SE-205 02 Malmö, Sweden

2 Medical Radiation Physics, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, SE-205 02 Malmö, Sweden

3 Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, PO Box 50, FI-90029 OYS Oulu, Finland

4 Medical Radiation Physics, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, SE-205 02 Malmö, Sweden

5 Department of Orthopaedics, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden

6 Department of Orthopaedics, Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2014, 15:226  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-226

Published: 9 July 2014

Abstract

Background

Impaired stability is a risk factor in knee osteoarthritis (OA), where the whole joint and not only the joint cartilage is affected. The meniscus provides joint stability and is involved in the early pathological progress of OA. Delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC) has been used to identify pre-radiographic changes in the cartilage in OA, but has been used less commonly to examine the meniscus, and then using only a double dose of the contrast agent. The purpose of this study was to enable improved early OA diagnosis by investigate the temporal contrast agent distribution in the meniscus and femoral cartilage simultaneously, in healthy volunteers, using 3D dGEMRIC at two different doses of the contrast agent Gd-DTPA2-.

Methods

The right knee in 12 asymptomatic volunteers was examined using a 3D Look-Locker sequence on two occasions after an intravenous injection of a double or triple dose of Gd-DTPA2- (0.2 or 0.3 mmol/kg body weight). The relaxation time (T1) and relaxation rate (R1 = 1/T1) were measured in the meniscus and femoral cartilage before, and 60, 90, 120 and 180 minutes after injection, and the change in relaxation rate (ΔR1) was calculated. Paired t-test and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used for statistical evaluation.

Results

The triple dose yielded higher concentrations of Gd-DTPA2- in the meniscus and cartilage than the double dose, but provided no additional information. The observed patterns of ΔR1 were similar for double and triple doses of the contrast agent. ΔR1 was higher in the meniscus than in femoral cartilage in the corresponding compartments at all time points after injection. ΔR1 increased until 90-180 minutes in both the cartilage and the meniscus (p < 0.05), and was lower in the medial than in the lateral meniscus at all time points (p < 0.05). A faster increase in ΔR1 was observed in the vascularized peripheral region of the posterior medial meniscus, than in the avascular central part of the posterior medial meniscus during the first 60 minutes (p < 0.05).

Conclusion

It is feasible to examine undamaged meniscus and cartilage simultaneously using dGEMRIC, preferably 90 minutes after the injection of a double dose of Gd-DTPA2- (0.2 mmol/kg body weight).

Keywords:
dGEMRIC; Glycosaminoglycans; Meniscus; Cartilage