The impact of renal insufficiency on the T1-weighted signal intensity (SI) increase in the cerebellar nuclei (CN) and on the brain gadolinium concentration was evaluated by comparing 5/6-nephrectomized to healthy control rats. Eight weeks after repeated high-dose GBCA administrations a significantly higher CN/pons SI ratio compared to a saline control group was found for linear GBCAs. This was independent of the renal status. No altered SI ratios compared to the saline group were observed after administration of macrocyclic GBCAs. Inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry revealed higher gadolinium concentrations for all GBCAs in the cerebellum of renally impaired rats.