The aim of this study was to determine potential metabolism and histological modifications due to gadolinium retention
within deep cerebellar nuclei
(DCN) after linear gadolinium-based contrast agent
injection (gadodiamide) in rats at 1 year after the last injection.
Materials and Methods
Twenty female rats received 20 doses of gadodiamide (0.6 mmol of gadolinium per kilogram each) over 5 weeks. They were followed at 1 week (M0), 6 weeks (M1), and 54 to 55 weeks (M13) postinjections to evaluate hypersignal on unenhanced T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and metabolic alterations by 1
H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1
H-MRS). At 1 year postinjections, brains were sampled to determine the localization of gadolinium within cerebellum
by laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectroscopy and to evaluate morphological changes by semiquantitative immunofluorescence analysis.
There is a significant increase of the ratio DCN/brainstem for the gadodiamide group at M0 (+7.2% vs control group = 0.989 ± 0.01), M1 (+7.6% vs control group = 1.002 ± 0.018), and it lasted up to M13 (+4.7% vs control group = 0.9862 ± 0.008). No variation among metabolic markers (cellular homeostasis [creatine, choline, taurine], excitatory neurotransmitter [glutamate], and metabolites specific to a cellular compartment [N
-acetyl aspartate for neurons and myo
-inositol for glial cells]) were detected by 1
H-MRS between gadodiamide and saline groups at M0, M1, and M13. At M13, laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectroscopy demonstrated that long-term gadolinium retention
occurred preferentially in DCN. No histological abnormalities (including analysis of astrocytes, neurons, and microglial cells) were found in the rostral part of DCN.
Repeated administration of gadodiamide lead to a retention of gadolinium preferentially within DCN at 1 year postinjections. This retention did not lead to any detectable changes of the measured metabolic biomarkers nor histological alterations.