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J Pharm Biomed Anal. 1999 Dec;21(5):931-43.

Interference of magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents with the serum calcium measurement technique using colorimetric reagents.

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Research Department, Guerbet, Aulnay-sous-Bois, France.


A possible interaction between either linear (Gd-DTPA-BMA and Gd-DTPA) or macrocyclic (Gd-DOTA) gadolinium complexes used as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents and colorimetric technique reagents for the measurement of serum calcium was evaluated on human serum pools, and its mechanism was investigated by means of UV spectrometry and electro-spray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). The highest concentration tested was 2.5 mM (corresponding to a putative strictly intravascular distribution of the compound) and the lowest dose was 0.2 mM (i.e. about two elimination half lives). Serum calcium was dosed in duplicate by conventional colorimetric techniques involving o-cresol-phthalein complexone (OCP) or methylthymol blue (MTB) as reagents. No interference was detected when mixing Gd DOTA with serum, whatever the concentration. Gd DTPA (2.5 mM) did not interfere with the colorimetric technique either. Conversely, the Gd DTPA-BMA solution induced a concentration-related variation in apparent calcium levels. In the UV experiments, solutions of 2.5 mM MRI contrast media were mixed with OCP or MTB and UV absorption spectra were recorded between 400 and 800 nm. For Gd-DOTA/OCP and Gd-DOTA/MTB, no significant variations in the absorbance were detected. However, in the presence of Gd DTPA BMA, the absorbance of OCP and MTB showed substantial and immediate variations over time. The ESI-MS studies showed a complete displacement of Gd3+ ion in the case of Gd-DTPA BMA. In the presence of OCP, we observed the disappearance of Gd-DTPA BMA and the formation of the free ligand DTPA BMA and a new complex Gd OCP with an original stoichiometry of 2/2. Such a phenomenon did not occur in the case of Gd DOTA and Gd DTPA. The decomplexation of Gd-DTPA BMA in the presence of OCP can probably be explained by the weaker thermodynamic stability of Gd-DTPA BMA compared to that of Gd-DOTA and Gd DTPA.

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