Drug deposition is an important factor that contributes to safety and efficacy outcomes of inhaled steroid therapy. Ciclesonide is a nonhalogenated, inhaled corticosteroid under investigation for the treatment of asthma. Therefore, this study was performed to assess lung deposition of ciclesonide. Technetium-99m (99mTc)-labeled ciclesonide (where the 99mTc-label is physically dissolved in the ciclesonide-hydrofluoroalkane [HFA] solution aerosol) inhaled by healthy volunteers was analyzed by two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) imaging to determine lung deposition. Six healthy volunteers inhaled one puff of 40 microg (exactuator, equivalent to 50 microg ex-valve) ciclesonide for 2-D imaging, and two healthy volunteers inhaled 10 puffs of 40 microg ciclesonide for 2-D and 3-D imaging. The ciclesonide aerosol was administered via metered-dose inhaler (MDI) containing HFA-134a as propellant. The ex-actuator mean (+/- standard deviation) deposition of ciclesonide in the lungs was higher (52% +/- 11%) than in the mouth/pharynx (38% +/- 14%). Two-dimensional and 3-D imaging showed that ciclesonide reached all regions of the lung. Mean percent deposition in peripheral regions (47% and 34%) was higher than in lower central regions (17% and 30%), as revealed by 3-D and 2-D imaging, respectively. Inhalation of up to 400 microg of ciclesonide produced no drug-related side effects. In conclusion, ciclesonide administered via metered-dose inhaler using HFA-134a as a propellant provided high lung deposition (>50%), greater distribution throughout peripheral regions of the lungs, and relatively low oropharyngeal deposition.