Elli-Noora Salo1, Mikko J. Nissi1,2, Katariina Aino Maria Kulmala1, Juha Tyrs1,3, Miika T. Nieminen4,5
1Department of Physics, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland; 2Department of Clinical Radiology, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland; 3Diagnostic Imaging Centre, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland; 4Department of Medical Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland; 5Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
The dGEMRIC method is sensitive in detecting proteoglycan depletion in cartilage. The aim of this study was to investigate the kinetics of gadopentetate contrast agent in intact and enzymatically degraded cartilage. Diffusion of gadopentetate was followed for 18 hours in bovine cartilage with T1 mapping at 9.4 T. A relatively small difference in diffusion kinetics was observed between intact and degraded samples, although larger uptake of contrast agent was observed in degraded samples. Maximum contrast between intact and degraded superficial cartilage is reached at an early stage, suggesting that visualization of degenerative changes may be possible prior to full equilibration.