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Eur J Nucl Med. 1997 Apr;24(4):398-402.

Monitoring of the biodistribution and biokinetics of dysprosium-165 ferric hydroxide with a shadow-shield whole-body counter.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, AKH, University of Vienna, Austria.


Radiation synovectomy is indicated when conventional pharmacological treatment of chronic synovitis has proved insufficient. In these cases dysprosium-165 ferric hydroxide (DFH) has been demonstrated to be clinically effective. After application of the agent, blood activity measurements and monitoring of activity distribution by gamma camera imaging over the local lymph nodes and the liver are commonly performed for control of possible leakage. In addition, we have used a shadow-shield whole-body counter with a profile facility to evaluate the biokinetics and biodistribution of 165Dy-DFH. Fifteen intra-articular injections were performed in 13 patients who received a median activity of 6.8 GBq (range 0.5-9.9 GBq) 165Dy-DFH. Activity profiles were obtained with the whole-body counter 2, 4 and 6 h after injection of 165Dy-DFH. The doses to non-target organs were calculated using the software MIRDOSE 3. In 10 of 15 treatments, absence of any leakage could be demonstrated. The effect of scattered rays could be observed in 14 measurements. In three patients small amounts of activity could be detected in the urinary bladder and in three patients activity was detected in the local inguinal lymph nodes, while no leakage could be detected by camera imaging. In these cases the individual doses to the bladder were 15 Gy, 65 mGy and 50 mGy, and those to the lymph nodes, 0.54 Gy, 0.89 Gy and 2.41 Gy. The whole-body counter also enabled the monitoring of activity profiles related to more complex pathological structures. In conclusion, using a whole-body counter activity leakage could be detected with much higher sensitivity than by using a gamma camera. The biodistribution of 165Dy-DFH could be determined, and leakage could be localised and related to organs. These results encourage the use of a whole-body counter to identify the site and extent of activity leakage.

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