To investigate the transport of Gd-DTPA2− in different layers of femoral knee cartilage in vivo.Materials and Methods:
T1 measurements (1.5 Tesla) were performed in femoral knee cartilage of 23 healthy volunteers. The weight-bearing central cartilage was analyzed before contrast and at eight time points after an intravenous injection of Gd-DTPA2−: 12–60 min (4 volunteers) and 1–4 h (19 volunteers). Three regions of interest were segmented manually: deep, middle, and superficial.Results:
Before contrast injection, a depth-wise variation of T1 was observed with 50% higher values in the superficial region compared with the deep region. In the deep region, the uptake of Gd-DTPA2− was not detected until 36 min and the concentration increased until 240 min, whereas in the superficial region, the uptake was seen already at 12 min and the concentration decreased after 180 min (P < 0.01). There was a difference between medial and lateral compartment regarding bulk, but not superficial Gd-DTPA2− concentration. The bulk gadolinium concentration was negatively related to the cartilage thickness (r = −0.68; P < 0.01).Conclusion:
The depth-wise and thickness dependent variations in Gd-DTPA2 transport influence the interpretation of bulk dGEMRIC analysis in vivo. In thick cartilage, incomplete penetration of Gd-DTPA2 will yield a falsely too long T1. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2011;. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.