PURPOSE: To determine (i) whether intra-articular gadolinium from MR arthrography (MRA) results in gadolinium deposition in the brain and (ii) whether there is a correlation between intra-articular gadolinium dose and intracranial gadolinium deposition.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study was institutional review board (IRB) approved and HIPAA compliant. The study group included consecutive adult patients who had undergone MRA of the hip or shoulder and subsequent MRI of the brain. None of the patients had a history of intravenous gadolinium exposure. A control group of patients of similar age and sex who were never exposed to gadolinium and had brain MRIs available was included. Signal intensities (SI) of four brain regions: pons, dentate nuclei (DN), globus pallidi (GP), and thalamus (Thal) normalized to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and expressed in SI ratios were measured on T1-weighted non-contrast MR images. Groups were compared using the student's t test. Linear correlation analysis of gadolinium dose and brain SI ratios was performed, and Pearson correlation coefficients (r) are reported.
RESULTS: We identified 109 patients (mean age 44 ± 14 years, 54% men) who had undergone MRA and 149 controls of similar age and sex distribution. There was no significant difference in mean SI ratios of the brain regions between patients and controls: pons/CSF (p = 0.7), DN/CSF (p = 0.4), GP/CSF (p > 0.99), Thal/CSF (p = 0.3). Within the MRA group, gadolinium dose was not associated with SI ratios (p > 0.2).
CONCLUSION: Our study found no MR evidence of intracranial gadolinium deposition following MRA. In addition, there was no association between intra-articular gadolinium dose and SI ratios in commonly affected regions of the brain.