The ability to detect meniscus defects by magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) can be highly variable. To improve the delineation of fine tears, we synthesized a cationic gadolinium complex, (Gd-DOTA-AM4)2+, that can electrostatically interact with Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The complex has a longitudinal relaxivity (r1) of 4.2 mM-1s-1 and is highly stable in serum. Its efficacy in highlighting soft tissue tears was evaluated in comparison to a clinically employed contrast agent (Magnevist) using explants obtained from adult bovine menisci. In all cases, Gd-DOTA-AM4 appeared to improve the ability to detect the soft tissue defect by providing increased signal intensity along the length of the tear. Magnevist shows a strong signal near the liquid-meniscus interface, but much less contrast is observed within the defect at greater depths. This provides initial evidence that cationic contrast agents can be used to improve the diagnostic accuracy of MRA.
- Magnetic resonance arthrography