Positron tomographic imaging of the liver with ga-68 iron hydroxide colloid

Bharath Kumar, Tom R. Miller, Barry A. Siegel, Carla J. Mathias, Joanne Markham, Gary J. Ehrhardt, Michael J. Welch

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A new radiopharmaceutical, 68Ga-iron hydroxide colloid, for hepatic imaging by positron emission tomography (PET) was prepared from the eluate of a 68Ge-68Ga solvent extraction generator. In rats, 84% of the administered dose of colloid localized in the liver and 4.6% accumulated in the spleen. Initial imaging studies in normal dogs showed close correspondence of the findings by PET and transmission computed tomography (CT). PET with 68Ga-colloid was performed in 10 patients with hepatic metastases demonstrated by conventional scintigraphy with 99mTc-sulfur colloid. All focal defects noted on the conventional scintigrams were easily identified and generally seen more clearly by PET. In one patient, lesions not identified on the initial 99mTc-sulfur colloid images were demonstrated by PET. The positron tomographic images were compared with those obtained by CT in 7 patients; the two studies showed comparable findings in 5 patients, whereas PET more clearly showed multiple lesions in 2. Our results suggest that PET is a suitable technique for obtaining high-contrast, cross-sectional images of large abdominal organs. Emission computed tomography with positron-emitting radionuclides shows promise as an important new tool for clinical research (1-4). Unfortunately, wide clinical application of positron-emission tomography (PET) is presently limited by the need for an expensive, hospital-based cyclotron facility and highly trained professional and technical personnel to synthesize the radiopharmaceuticals labeled with the very short-lived radionuclides 11c, 13N, 150 and 18 F that are employed most commonly in such studies. These difficulties may be circumvented in part by the use of a simple generator system that produces the positron-emitting radionuclide 68Ga (T1/2 = 68 min) from the long-lived parent 68Ge (T1/2 = 275 days) (5-7). A large number of radiopharmaceuticals of potential clinical interest may be prepared readily from the eluate of such a generator (6,8-11). In the present study, we have prepared and characterized a new radiopharmaceutical for liver imaging, 68Ga iron hydroxide colloid, and have evaluated this agent in patients with hepatic tumors by imaging with a positron tomographic scanner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-254
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Aug 18 1980


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