TH-AB-209-02: Gadolinium Measurements in Human Bone Using in Vivo K X-Ray Fluorescence (KXRF) Technique




Improvement in an in vivo K x-ray fluorescence system, based on 109Cd source, for the detection of gadolinium (Gd) in bone has been investigated. Series of improvements to the method is described. Gd is of interest because of the extensive use of Gd-based contrast agents in MR imaging and the potential toxicity of Gd exposure.


A set of seven bone equivalent phantoms with different amount of Gd concentrations (from 0–100 ppm) has been developed. Soft tissue equivalent plastic plates were used to simulate the soft tissue overlaying the tibia bone in an in vivo measurement. A new 5 GBq 109Cd source was used to improve the source activity in comparison to the previous study (0.17 GBq). An improved spectral fitting program was utilized for data analysis.


The previous published minimum detection limit (MDL) for Gd doped phantom measurements using KXRF system was 3.3 ppm. In this study the MDL for bare bone phantoms was found to be 0.8 ppm. Our previous study used only three layers of plastic (0.32, 0.64 and 0.96 mm) as soft tissue equivalent materials and obtained the MDL of 4–4.8 ppm. In this study the plastic plates with more realistic thicknesses to simulate the soft tissue covering tibia bone (nine thicknesses ranging from 0.61–6.13 mm) were used. The MDLs for phantoms were determined to be 1.8–3.5 ppm.


With the improvements made to the technology (stronger source, improved data analysis algorithm, realistic soft tissue thicknesses), the MDL of the KXRF system to measure Gd in bare bone was improved by a factor of 4.1. The MDL is at the level of the bone Gd concentration reported in literature. Hence, the system is ready to be tested on human subjects to investigate the use of bone Gd as a biomarker for Gd toxicity.