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Biol Psychiatry. 1999 May 15;45(10):1384-8.

Characterization of human brain pharmacokinetics using a two-compartment model.

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  • 1Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, USA.


We developed a two-compartment pharmacokinetic model to systematically characterize 19F magnetic resonance spectroscopy (19F MRS) data on the concentration time course of psychotropic compounds measured in human brain. Using this model, brain volume of distribution and clearance were calculated for fluvoxamine as an index compound. Our interest in formalizing a multicompartment model was motivated by recent advances in the field of brain spectroscopy that allow the noninvasive characterization of brain uptake and elimination half-lives of fluorinated psychotropic compounds. Differences between central compartment single-dose and steady-state half-lives and the peripheral elimination half-life at steady state were used to formulate the model. Application of the model is illustrated using previously published data on the elimination half-lives of fluvoxamine from plasma and brain at steady state, along with the literature values for single-dose plasma elimination half-life. Applying the model, brain volume of distribution (1.12 L/kg +/- 0.2 SEM) and clearance (1.01 L/hour +/- 0.12 SEM) were calculated for fluvoxamine. The bioavailability of fluvoxamine to the brain from plasma was 1.85 +/- 0.23 SEM. The underlying multicompartment pharmacokinetics of fluvoxamine were reflected by the difference between brain and plasma elimination half-lives from steady state. This method to derive pharmacokinetic parameters using 19F MRS measurements of drug concentration in brain can be applied to characterize the pharmacokinetics of other fluorinated psychotropic compounds.

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