Comparison of bolus and infusion methods for receptor quantitation: application to [18F]cyclofoxy and positron emission tomography

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1993 Jan;13(1):24-42. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.1993.6.


Positron emission tomography studies with the opiate antagonist [18F]cyclofoxy ([18F]CF) were performed in baboons. Bolus injection studies demonstrated initial uptake dependent on blood flow. The late uptake showed highest binding in caudate nuclei, amygdala, thalamus, and brainstem and the least accumulation in cerebellum. By 60 min postinjection, regional brain radioactivity cleared at the same rate as metabolite-corrected plasma, i.e., transient equilibrium was achieved. Compartmental modeling methods were applied to time-activity curves from brain and metabolite-corrected plasma. Individual rate constants were estimated with poor precision. The model estimate of the total volume of distribution (VT), representing the ratio of tissue radioactivity to metabolite-corrected plasma at equilibrium, was reliably determined. The apparent volume of distribution (Va), the concentration ratio of tissue to metabolite-corrected plasma during transient equilibrium, was compared with the fitted VT values to determine if single-scan methods could provide accurate receptor measurements. Va significantly overestimated VT and produced artificially high image contrast. These differences were predicted by compartment model theory and were caused by a plasma clearance rate that was close to the slowest tissue clearance rate. To develop a simple method to measure VT, an infusion protocol consisting of bolus plus continuous infusion (B/I) of CF was designed and applied in a separate set of studies. The Va values from the B/I studies agreed with the VT values from both B/I and bolus studies. This infusion approach can produce accurate receptor measurements and has the potential to shorten scan time and simplify the acquisition and processing of scan and blood data.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Injections
  • Models, Biological
  • Naltrexone / administration & dosage
  • Naltrexone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Naltrexone / metabolism
  • Naltrexone / pharmacokinetics
  • Papio
  • Receptors, Opioid / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Opioid / metabolism
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Receptors, Opioid
  • Naltrexone
  • 6-deoxy-6-fluoronaltrexone