Gadolinium retention within multiple rat organs after intra-articular administration of gadolinium-based contrast agents

Michael D. Ringler, Nicholas G. Rhodes, Jennifer R. Ayers-Ringler, Daniel R. Jakaitis, Robert J. McDonald, David F. Kallmes, Jennifer S. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To characterize the extent of retention and biodistribution of gadolinium (Gd) following intra-articular (IA) injection of linear and macrocyclic gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) into the knee joint of a rat model. Materials and methods: Fifteen Wistar rats were divided into five groups and underwent fluoroscopically-guided injections of both knee joints of (1) clinical 1:200 dilution (low dose, LD) gadodiamide (linear GBCA), (2) LD gadobutrol (macrocyclic GBCA), (3) undiluted (high dose, HD) gadodiamide, (4) HD gadobutrol, and (5) saline. Gd concentrations were quantified by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in (1) blood and urine samples obtained over a 72 h period and (2) knee joint tissues, brain, kidney, and bone marrow at 3 days post-injection. Results: Both HD and LD gadodiamide and gadobutrol were rapidly absorbed from the joint with peak serum and urine concentration at 1 h post-injection, with relatively faster clearance of gadobutrol. All GBCA-exposed groups had detectable levels of Gd in the joint tissues, bone marrow, and/or kidneys (median tissue gadolinium range: 0.1–71 μg Gd/g tissue), with higher amounts observed with gadodiamide versus gadobutrol. Retention within brain tissues was only detected following HD gadodiamide administration but not LD gadodiamide nor HD or LD gadobutrol. Conclusion: There was rapid systemic absorption, redistribution, and widespread multi-organ retention of Gd following IA injection of both linear and macrocyclic GBCAs, despite substantial amounts of urinary excretion. Higher concentrations of Gd were observed with administration of gadodiamide compared to gadobutrol in most tissues and biofluids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1419-1425
Number of pages7
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Arthrography
  • Brain
  • Contrast media
  • Gadolinium
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Gadolinium retention within multiple rat organs after intra-articular administration of gadolinium-based contrast agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this