Iopromide- and gadopentetic acid-derived preparates used in MR arthrography may be harmful to chondrocytes

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ÖZNAM K., Sirin D. Y., Yilmaz I., Kaya Y. E., Isyar M., Gumustas S. A., ...More

Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, vol.12, no.1, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s13018-017-0600-5
  • Journal Name: Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: MR-arthrography, Gadopentetic acid, Iopromide, Chondrotoxicity, Primary cell culture, Stage-specific, embryonic antigen-1
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Magnetic resonance arthrography, a procedure through which contrast agents containing gadolinium and/or iopromide are administered intra-articularly, has become a useful tool in musculoskeletal diagnosis. Nevertheless, despite being considered safe for systemic use, certain tissue toxicities have been identified for both drugs. In this study, the effects of short-term exposure of human primary chondrocyte cell cultures to gadolinium and/or iopromide contrast agents were examined by assaying for stage-specific embryonic antigen-1 (SSEA-1) protein expression (a chondrogenic differentiation marker), cell viability, toxicity, and proliferation. Methods: Human articular chondrocytes were grown in monolayer culture and were exposed to iopromide and/or gadolinium diethylenetriamine-pentaacetate (Gd-DPT) for 2 and 6h. Cell cultures with no drug exposure were used as the control group. Cell differentiation status was assessed according to SSEA-1 protein expression. Contrast agent effects on cell viability and proliferation were analyzed using MTT analysis. Further, changes in cell morphology in relation to the control group were evaluated using inverted light microscopy, environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM), and 3-tesla magnetic resonance imaging. The obtained data were statistically compared. Results: When compared with the control group, both SSEA-1 protein expression and cell proliferation were lowest in the Gd-DPT group (P=0.000). There was a statistically significant correlation between SSEA-1 expression and MTT results (rho=0.351; P=0.003). Conclusions: Nevertheless, the data obtained from in vitro experiments may not directly correspond to clinical applications. However, the mere fact that a drug used solely for diagnostic purposes may repress chondrocyte cell proliferation should be carefully considered by clinicians.