Site-Specific Intracoronary Heparin Delivery in Humans After Balloon Angioplasty
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Background Demonstration and quantification of site-specific intracoronary administration of compounds has been confined thus far to the experimental animal laboratory. The aim of this study was to describe a scintigraphic method to demonstrate site-specific intracoronary drug delivery in humans. The methods allow on-line visualization and off-line quantification of site-specifically infused -emitting compounds. Methods and Results In 12 patients after balloon angioplasty, 99mTc-labeled heparin was administered at the site of dilatation by use of a coil balloon. Both the infusion period and the washout period after the end of infusion were monitored with a -camera. A curve of counts per pixel as a function of time was derived that showed an accumulation phase during infusion followed by a washout phase after the end of infusion. Both phases were fitted by regression analysis and showed a linear accumulation pattern and a biexponential washout pattern. After correction for background counts, 99mTc decay, and body attenuation, peak heparin amount and regional bioavailability were calculated. Peak amount was defined as the initial point of the slow washout component of the biexponential curve (elimination component), and regional bioavailability was defined as the area under the curve of accumulation and washout phase. Half-life and retention time, defined as seven half-lives, were obtained by use of the elimination component after correction for 99mTc decay. Mean peak delivered amount was 45±44 IU (236±228 µg), corresponding to an efficiency of delivery ranging from 1% to 8% of the totally infused dose. Total regionally bioavailable heparin reached 244±194 IU·h (1.28±1.01 mg·h). Retention time varied from 12 to 90 hours (mean, 50:33±22:50 hours:minutes). Conclusions Site-specific intracoronary heparin delivery after angioplasty by means of the coil balloon was demonstrated in humans, and regional pharmacokinetics was quantified by use of a radioisotopic technique.