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Radiologia Brasileira

On-line version ISSN 1678-7099


MAECKER, Holden T. et al. An initial investigation of serum cytokine levels in patients with gadolinium retention. Radiol Bras [online]. 2020, vol.53, n.5, pp.306-313.  Epub July 15, 2020. ISSN 1678-7099.


To determine whether individuals with proposed gadolinium deposition disease (GDD) have elevated serum levels of pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic cytokines, and whether specific cytokines are correlated with certain symptoms.

Materials and Methods:

Twenty-four participants recruited between May 2016 and June 2017 met GDD diagnostic criteria. The 64 control subjects provided serum samples before prophylactic flu vaccination. Serum cytokine levels were obtained with Luminex serum cytokine assay using eBiosciences/Affymetrix human 62-plex kits. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were performed to assess the difference between the median fluorescence intensity values for the participants and the control group. Generalized linear models were built to evaluate the association between each cytokine of interest and selected participant symptoms.


Serum levels of 14 cytokines, including nine pro-inflammatory cytokines, were statistically significantly elevated compared to controls (p ≤ 0.05). Hypotheses regarding pro-fibrotic cytokines and cytokine links to specific symptoms’ intensity were not confirmed.


The statistically significantly elevated cytokines may be markers of susceptibility to GDD or agents of symptom induction. These findings suggest that individuals developing symptoms characteristic of GDD after a contrast-assisted magnetic resonance imaging should be studied to investigate whether gadolinium retention and elevated cytokines may be related to their symptoms.

Keywords : Cytokines; Pro-inflammatory; Gadolinium; Magnetic resonance imaging; Contrast-enhanced; Gadolinium deposition disease.

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