Biodistribution and clearance of liposomal gadolinium-DTPA

Evan Unger, Diego Cardenas, Ann Zerella, Laurie L. Fajardo, Colin Tilcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Gadolinium-DTPA (Gd-DTPA) liposomes have been studied previously as liver contrast agents and have been shown to improve the detection of hepatic metastases in rats. We synthesized 100-nm and 50-nm liposomes that encapsulated Gd-DTPA and did biodistribution and clearance studies in rats. Parallel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies were also done. Biodistribution showed a prolonged blood pool phase for Gd-DTPA liposomes with a blood pool half-life of approximately 4 hours for the 100-nm liposomes. The highest uptake per gram of tissue was achieved by the spleen. Clearance of gadolinium from the liver and spleen showed a half-life of 3 to 4 days. The smaller 50-nm Gd-DTPA liposomes resulted in a longer blood pool phase and a higher delivery of gadolinium to the liver, bone marrow, and spleen. Imaging studies after intravenous (IV) administration of liposomal Gd-DTPA showed organ enhancement that paralleled the data on biodistribution studies, with appreciable hepatic enhancement at doses as low as 0.025 mm/kg of liposomal Gd-DTPA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-644
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1990


  • Biodistribution
  • Clearance
  • Gadolinium-DTPA
  • Liposomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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