Biodistribution and dosimetry of TRODAT-1: a technetium-99m tropane for imaging dopamine transporters

J Nucl Med. 1998 Dec;39(12):2069-76.


Technetium-99m TRODAT-1 is an analog of cocaine that selectively binds the presynaptic dopamine transporters. The primary purpose of this study was to measure its whole-body biokinetics and radiation dosimetry in healthy human volunteers. The study was conducted within a regulatory framework that required its pharmacological safety to be assessed simultaneously.

Methods: The sample included 4 men and 6 women ranging in age from 22-54 yr. An average of 20 whole-body scans were acquired sequentially on a dual-head camera for up to 46 hr after the intravenous administration of 370+/-16 MBq (10.0+/-0.42 mCi) 99mTc TRODAT. The renal excretion fractions were measured from 12-24 discrete urine specimens. The fraction of the administered dose in 17 regions of interest and each urine specimen was quantified from the attenuation and background corrected geometric mean counts in conjugate views. Multiexponential functions were iteratively fit to each time-activity curve using a nonlinear, least squares regression algorithm. These curves were numerically integrated to yield source organ residence times. Gender-specific radiation doses were then estimated with the Medical Internal Radiation Dose technique for each subject individually before any results were averaged.

Results: There were no pharmacological effects of the radiotracer on any of the subjects. The early planar images showed differentially increased activity in the nose, pudendum and stomach. SPECT images demonstrated that the radiopharmaceutical localized in the basal ganglia in a distribution that was consistent with selective transporter binding. Image analysis showed that the kidneys excreted between 20% and 32% of the injected dose during the first 22-28 hr postadministration, after which no more activity could be recovered in the urine. The dose limiting organ in both men and women was the liver, which received an average of 0.046 mGy/MBq (0.17 rads/mCi, range 0.14-0.22 rad/mCi). In the worst case, which was clearly an over-estimation, it would have taken 22.7 mCi to deliver 5 rad to the liver.

Conclusion: TRODAT may be a safe and effective radiotracer for imaging dopamine transporters in the brain and the body.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / analysis
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Organotechnetium Compounds / pharmacokinetics*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*
  • Tropanes / pharmacokinetics*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tropanes
  • technetium Tc 99m TRODAT-1