Treatment of rheumatoid synovitis of the knee with intraarticular injection of dysprosium 165-ferric hydroxide macroaggregates

Arthritis Rheum. 1986 Feb;29(2):153-9. doi: 10.1002/art.1780290201.


One hundred eight knees of 93 patients with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis and persistent synovitis of the knee were treated with an intraarticular injection of 270 mCi of dysprosium 165 bound to ferric hydroxide macroaggregate. Leakage of radioactivity from the injected joint was minimal. Mean leakage to the venous blood 3 hours after injection was 0.11% of the injected dose; this corresponds to a mean whole body dose of 0.2 rads. Mean leakage to the liver 24 hours after injection was 0.64% of the injected dose; this corresponds to a mean liver dose of 3.2 rads. In 7 additional patients examined, there was negligible or near negligible activity found in the draining inguinal lymph nodes. One-year followup was possible for 74 knees (63 patients). Sixty-one percent of the knees had good results, 23% had fair results, and 16% had poor results. There was a direct correlation between the radiographic stage and response to treatment. In knees with stage I radiographic changes, 72% showed good results; 93% showed improvement. In knees with stage II changes, 59% showed good results; 81% showed improvement. These preliminary results indicate that dysprosium 165-ferric hydroxide macroaggregate is an effective agent for radiation synovectomy. The low leakage rates observed offer a definite advantage over agents previously used.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications*
  • Dysprosium / administration & dosage*
  • Dysprosium / therapeutic use
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Ferric Compounds / administration & dosage*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Iron / administration & dosage*
  • Knee Joint* / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymph Nodes / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Radioisotopes / administration & dosage*
  • Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m
  • Synovitis / etiology
  • Synovitis / radiotherapy*
  • Time Factors


  • Ferric Compounds
  • Radioisotopes
  • Dysprosium
  • ferric hydroxide
  • Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m
  • Iron