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X-ray computed tomography methods for in vivo evaluation of local drug release systems

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6 Author(s)
K. A. Salem ; Dept. of Biomed. Eng., Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH, USA ; A. Szymanski-Exner ; R. S. Lazebnik ; M. S. Breen
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Recent advances in drug delivery techniques have necessitated the development of tools for in vivo monitoring of drug distributions. Gamma emission imaging and magnetic resonance imaging suffer from problems of resolution and sensitivity, respectively. We propose that the combination of X-ray CT imaging and image analysis techniques provides an excellent method for the evaluation of the transport of platinum-containing drugs from a localized, controlled release source. We correlated local carboplatin concentration with CT intensity, producing a linear relationship with a sensitivity of 62.6 μg/mL per Hounsfield unit. As an example application, we evaluated the differences in drug transport properties between normal and ablated rabbit liver from implanted polymer millirods. The use of three-dimensional visualization provided a method of evaluating the placement of the drug delivery device in relation to the surrounding anatomy, and registration and reformatting allowed the accurate comparison of the sequence of temporal CT volumes acquired over a period of 24 h. Taking averages over radial lines extending away from the center of the implanted millirods and integrating over clinically appropriate regions, yielded information about drug release from the millirod and transport in biological tissues. Comparing implants in normal and ablated tissues, we found that ablation prior to millirod implantation greatly decreased the loss of drug from the immediate area, resulting in a higher average dose to the surrounding tissue. This work shows that X-ray CT imaging is a useful technique for the in vivo evaluation of the pharmacokinetics of platinated agents.

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IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 10 )