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Acta Radiol Suppl. 1996;400:8-16.

Stabilization of the hydrophilic sphere of iobitridol, a new nonionic iodinated contrast agent.

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  • 1Guerbet GCA, Roissy Charles de Gaulle, France.


The chemotoxicity of iodinated contrast agents is essentially related to the spatial accessibilty of lipophilic and polarizable iodine atoms. This accessibility was examined in iobitridol by HPLC and 1H- and 13C-NMR spectroscopy,taking into account both the static distribution of the hydrophilic groups around the triiodinated benzene ring and in particular the dynamic modulation of this distribution. The aim of this latter parameter is to prevent distortion of the hydrophilic sphere of nonionic agents when faced with a hydrophobic environment. Iobitridol is characterized by 2 tertiary carbamoyl substituents whose high rotation barriers (deltaG*353=27.6 kcal for E/Z-rotation and deltaG*345=17.3 kcal for syn/anti-rotation) stabilize the hydrophilic sphere. The 3rd dihydroxylated anilide substituent does not undergo SMILES rearrangement and provides iobitridol with its even hydrophilic distribution. Iobitridol presents remarkable chemical solubility (>140% m/v) and stability. The iobitridol molecule was specifically designed with the aim of stabilizing the hydrophilic sphere around the triiodinated benzene ring, therefore permanently masking access to the iodine atoms. This new concept represents a further step forward towards the synthesis of new iodinated contrast agents which should be totally inert vis-a-vis biological membranes and proteins.

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