PURPOSE: This study evaluated the in vivo performance of a liposome formulation that co-encapsulates iohexol and gadoteridol as a multimodal contrast agent for computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR)-based image guidance applications. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The pharmacokinetics and biodistribution studies were conducted in Balb-C mice using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) to detect iohexol and gadoteridol concentrations. The imaging efficacy of this liposome system was assessed in New Zealand White rabbits using a clinical CT and a clinical 1.5 Tesla MR scanner. RESULTS: The vascular half-lives of the liposome encapsulated iohexol and gadoteridol in mice were found to be 18.4 +/- 2.4 and 18.1 +/- 5.1 h. When administered at the same dose the distribution (alpha phase) half-lives for the free contrast agents were 12.3 +/- 0.5 min (iohexol) and 7.6 +/- 0.9 min (gadoteridol); while, the elimination (beta phase) half-lives were 3.0 +/- 0.9 h for free iohexol and 3.0 +/- 1.3 h for free gadoteridol. The CT and MR signal increases were measured and correlated with the concentrations of iohexol and gadoteridol detected in plasma samples. CONCLUSION: The long in vivo circulation lifetime and simultaneous CT and MR signal enhancement provided by this liposome system make it a promising agent for image guidance applications.
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