Introduction: Aerosol delivery of orally inhaled agents

J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv. 2012 Dec;25 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S3-5. doi: 10.1089/jamp.2012.1Su2.


Deposition scintigraphy methods have been used extensively to provide qualitative and quantitative data on aerosol drug deposition in the lungs. However, differences in methodology among the different centers performing these studies have limited the application of these techniques, especially in regulatory roles. As an introduction to the standardized techniques developed by the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM) Regulatory Affairs Networking Group, we present potential advantages of the use of standard techniques for deposition scintigraphy. Specifically, we propose that standardized techniques would allow for better comparisons between labs and would facilitate multicenter studies. They would allow for improved methods of establishing equivalence and could be better utilized to establish dosing for new medications. They would allow for the performance of more accurate dose ranging or multidose studies and complement pharmacokinetic studies of new inhaled medications. Standardized techniques could help to establish the relationship between the deposition of drug in the lungs and clinical effect, and may also facilitate clinical measurements of deposited dose for medications with narrow therapeutic indices. In the sections that follow, we discuss the best techniques used to perform deposition scintigraphy through planar, single-photon emission computed tomography, and positron emission tomography modalities and propose a detailed set of standardized methods for each. These include methods for radiolabel validation, radiolabel accountability and mass balance, and imaging acquisition and analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Radionuclide Imaging / methods*
  • Radionuclide Imaging / standards
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Aerosols
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations