Gadolinium Retention in Erythrocytes and Leukocytes From Human and Murine Blood Upon Treatment With Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Invest Radiol. 2019 Sep 9. Epub 2019 Sep 9. PMID: 31503081
Enza Di Gregorio
OBJECTIVES: Being administered intravenously, the tissue that gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) for magnetic resonance imaging mostly encounter is blood. Herein, it has been investigated how much Gd is internalized by cellular blood components upon the in vitro incubation of GBCAs in human blood or upon intravenous administration of GBCAs to healthy mice. We report results that show how the superb sensitivity of inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) allows the detection of very tiny amounts of GBCAs entering red blood cells (RBCs) and white blood cells (WBCs). This finding may introduce new insights in the complex matter relative to excretion and retention pathway of administered GBCAs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was tackled by 2 independent approaches. First, human blood was incubated in vitro with 5 mM of GBCAs (gadoteridol, gadobenate dimeglumine, gadodiamide, and gadopentetate dimeglumine) for variable times (30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours) at 37°C. Then, blood cell components were isolated by using the Ficoll Histopaque method, washed 3 times, mineralized, and analyzed by ICP-MS for total Gd quantification. Furthermore, blood components derived from human blood incubated with gadodiamide or gadoteridol underwent UPLC-MS (ultra performanceliquid chromatography-mass spectrometry) analysis for determination of the amount of intact Gd-DTPA-BMA and Gd-HPDO3A. Second, the distribution of Gd in the blood components of healthy CD-1 mice was administered intravenously with a single dose (1.2 mmol/kg) of gadodiamide or gadoteridol. Blood samples were separated and processed at different time points (24 hours, 48 hours, 96 hours, and 10 days after GBCA administration). As for human blood, ICP-MS quantification of total Gd and UPLC-MS determination of the amount of intact GBCAs were carried out.
RESULTS: The amount of Gd taken up by RBCs and WBCs was well detectable by ICP-MS. The GBCAs seem to be able to cross the membrane by diffusion (RBCs) or, possibly, by macropinocytosis (WBCs). Ex vivo studies allowed it to be established that the structure of the different GBCAs were not relevant to determine the amount of Gd internalized in the cells. Although the amount of Gd steadily decreases over time in gadoteridol-labeled cells, in the case of gadodiamide, the amount of Gd in the cells does not decrease (even 10 days after the administration of the GBCA). Moreover, while gadoteridol maintains its structural integrity upon cellular uptake, in the case of gadodiamide, the amount of intact complex markedly decreases over time.
CONCLUSIONS: The detection of significant amounts of Gd in RBCs and WBCs indicates that GBCAs can cross blood cell membranes. This finding may play a role in our understanding of the processes that are at the basis of Gd retention in the tissues of patients who have received the administration of GBCAs.