Hepatic artery injection of I-131-labeled lipiodol. Part I. Biodistribution study results in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and liver metastases

Radiology. 1988 Aug;168(2):541-5. doi: 10.1148/radiology.168.2.2839866.


Biodistribution of iodine-131-labeled Lipiodol Ultra-Fluide (I-131 LUF) injected into the hepatic artery was studied scintigraphically in 47 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (n = 23), hepatic metastases (n = 14), or normal livers (n = 10). The investigation was extremely well tolerated. I-131 LUF concentrated mainly in the liver (L) and the lungs (l), with L/L + l activity ratios greater than 75% for all three groups of patients. I-131 LUF distribution was homogeneous in normal livers and heterogeneous in cirrhotic livers. I-131 LUF concentrated in the tumor with a tumorous (T) to nontumorous (NT) activity ratio (T/NT) of 4.3 +/- 3.6 for hepatocellular carcinoma and 2.4 +/- 0.7 for hepatic metastases. The effective half-life of I-131 LUF is more than 4.5 days for the three groups. It was eliminated mainly through the urine. Clearance from tumor is slower than from normal liver, as shown by the increase in T/NT at day 18. Biodistribution did not change in patients who had a second injection, which indicates that there is no saturation phenomenon. The results of this study suggest that LUF may be considered as a potential carrier vehicle for therapeutic agents.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Half-Life
  • Hepatic Artery*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Arterial
  • Iodine Radioisotopes*
  • Iodized Oil / pharmacokinetics*
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Iodized Oil