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J Neurosurg Anesthesiol. 2007 Apr;19(2):111-9.

Intra-arterial drug delivery: a concise review.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


The therapeutic potential of intra-arterial (IA) drug delivery to the brain has received limited attention in the last decade. In the 1980s, efforts to treat brain tumors with IA chemotherapy, the leading application of this technology, yielded modest results. Poor control of tissue drug concentrations and the potential risk of permanent neurologic injury further prevented the wider use of IA drugs. Yet, IA drugs were anecdotally used for treating a wide spectrum of brain diseases. Recent advances in endovascular technology and the increased safety of angiographic procedures now compel us to reevaluate IA drug delivery. This review describes the pharmacologic principles, applications, and pitfalls of IA drug delivery to the brain.

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