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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2014 Jan;39(1):94-102. doi: 10.1002/jmri.24096. Epub 2013 Jun 6.

Direct comparison of intra-articular versus intravenous delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of hip joint cartilage.

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  • 1Univ Dusseldorf, Medical Faculty, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, D-40225 Dusseldorf, Germany.



To investigate the potential of delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging in cartilage (dGEMRIC) after intra-articular (ia) contrast agent administration at 3 Tesla (T), a paired study comparing intravenous (iv) dGEMRIC (standard) with ia-dGEMRIC was performed.


Thirty-five symptomatic patients with suspected cartilage damage underwent ia- and iv-dGEMRIC. MRI was performed with a 3T system wherein the interval between both measurements was 2 weeks. For iv-dGEMRIC, FDA approved Gd-DOTA(-) was injected intravenously 45 min before the MRI scan. For ia-dGEMRIC, 10-20 mL of a 2 mM solution of Gd- DOTA(-) was injected under fluoroscopic guidance 30 min before the MRI scan.


Both ia- and iv-dGEMRIC demonstrated the typical T1Gd pattern in hip joint cartilage with increasing values toward the superior regions in acetabular cartilage reflecting the higher glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content in the main weight-bearing area. Correlation analysis revealed a moderate correlation between both techniques (r = 0.439, P-value < 0.001), whereas the T1Gd values for iv-dGEMRIC were significantly higher than those for ia-dGEMRIC. This corresponds with the Bland-Altman plot analysis, which revealed a systemic bias (higher T1Gd values after iv gadolinium application) of ∼70 ms.


Ia-dGEMRIC was able to reveal the characteristic T1Gd pattern in hip joint cartilage confirming the sensitivity of ia-dGEMRIC for GAG. In addition, there was a significant correlation between iv-dGEMRIC and ia-dGEMRIC. However, the T1Gd values after ia contrast media application were significantly lower than those after iv application that has to be considered for future studies.

Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


3T; cartilage; dGEMRIC; hip joint; osteoarthritis

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