In vivo dentate nucleus MRI relaxometry correlates with previous administration of Gadolinium-based contrast agents

Enrico Tedeschi, Giuseppe Palma, Antonietta Canna, Sirio Cocozza, Carmela Russo, Pasquale Borrelli, Roberta Lanzillo, Valentina Angelini, Emanuela Postiglione, Vincenzo Brescia Morra, Marco Salvatore, Arturo Brunetti, Mario Quarantelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Objectives: To evaluate changes in T1 and T2* relaxometry of dentate nuclei (DN) with respect to the number of previous administrations of Gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCA). Methods: In 74 relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RR-MS) patients with variable disease duration (9.8±6.8 years) and severity (Expanded Disability Status Scale scores:3.1±0.9), the DN R1 (1/T1) and R2* (1/T2*) relaxation rates were measured using two unenhanced 3D Dual-Echo spoiled Gradient-Echo sequences with different flip angles. Correlations of the number of previous GBCA administrations with DN R1 and R2* relaxation rates were tested, including gender and age effect, in a multivariate regression analysis. Results: The DN R1 (normalized by brainstem) significantly correlated with the number of GBCA administrations (p<0.001), maintaining the same significance even when including MS-related factors. Instead, the DN R2* values correlated only with age (p=0.003), and not with GBCA administrations (p=0.67). In a subgroup of 35 patients for whom the administered GBCA subtype was known, the effect of GBCA on DN R1 appeared mainly related to linear GBCA. Conclusions: In RR-MS patients, the number of previous GBCA administrations correlates with R1 relaxation rates of DN, while R2* values remain unaffected, suggesting that T1-shortening in these patients is related to the amount of Gadolinium given. Key Points: • In multiple sclerosis, previous Gadolinium administrations correlate with dentate nuclei T1 relaxometry. • Such correlation is linked to linear Gadolinium chelates and unrelated to disease duration or severity. • Dentate nuclei T2* relaxometry is age-related and independent of previous Gadolinium administrations. • Changes in dentate nuclei T1 relaxometry are not determined by iron accumulation. • MR relaxometry can quantitatively assess Gadolinium accumulation in dentate nuclei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4577-4584
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The help of Raffaele Palladino, MD in reviewing the statistical analyses is gratefully acknowledged. The scientific guarantor of this publication is Enrico Tedeschi, MD. The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. This study has received funding by Italian Ministry of Education, University, and Research (MIUR) within the PRIN framework (2010XE5L2R). One of the authors (MQ) has significant statistical expertise. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study. Methodology: retrospective.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, European Society of Radiology.


  • Dentate nucleus
  • Gadolinium
  • MRI contrast media
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Relaxometry


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