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Magn Reson Imaging. 1987;5(3):165-9.

Fluorine-19 NMR spectroscopic studies of the metabolism of 5-fluorouracil in the liver of patients undergoing chemotherapy.


Fluorine-19 nuclear magnetic resonance allows direct observation of fluorinated drugs and their metabolites in the human body without background signal from the tissue. A well-known fluorinated chemotherapeutic drug, 5-fluorouracil, and its metabolites were observed noninvasively in the liver of three patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy. Spectra were obtained at 1.5 T with a surface coil centered over the right lobe of the patient's liver. Administration of 1.5 gm of 5-fluorouracil was done after positioning in the magnet. Serial spectra, collected over a 2-h period, revealed both the nature of the metabolites present in the liver, and the time course of each patient's metabolism. These observations represent the first noninvasive NMR study of drugs in human patients and show the feasibility of using in vivo F-19 NMR spectroscopy for human studies of fluorinated compounds.

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