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John D. Heiss, Stuart Walbridge, Paul Morrison, Robert R. Hampton, Susumu Sato, Alexander Vortmeyer, John A. Butman, James O'Malley, Param Vidwan, Robert L. Dedrick and Edward H. Oldfield

Object. The activity of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter, is reduced in the hippocampus in patients with complex partial seizures from mesial temporal sclerosis. To provide preliminary safety and distribution data on using convection-enhanced delivery of agents to treat complex partial seizures and to test the efficacy and safety of regional selective neuronal suppression, the authors infused muscimol, a GABA-A receptor agonist, directly into the hippocampus of nonhuman primates using an integrated catheter electrode.

Methods. Ten rhesus monkeys were divided into three groups: 1) use of catheter electrode alone (four monkeys); 2) infusion of escalating concentrations of muscimol followed by vehicle (three monkeys); and 3) infusion of vehicle and subsequent muscimol mixed with muscimol tracer (three monkeys). Infusions were begun 5 days after catheter electrode placement and continued for 5.6 days before switching to the other agent. Head magnetic resonance (MR) images and electroencephalography recordings were obtained before and during the infusions. Brain histological studies and quantitative autoradiography were performed.

Neurological function was normal in controls and when muscimol concentrations were 0.125 mM or less, whereas higher concentrations (0.5 and 1 mM) produced reversible apathy and somnolence. Fluid distribution was demonstrated on MR images and muscimol distribution was demonstrated on autoradiographs throughout the hippocampus and adjacent white matter.

Conclusions. Targeted modulation of neuronal activity is a reasonable research strategy for the investigation and treatment of medically intractable epilepsy.

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Tung T. Nguyen, Yashdip S. Pannu, Cynthia Sung, Robert L. Dedrick, Stuart Walbridge, Martin W. Brechbiel, Kayhan Garmestani, Markus Beitzel, Alexander T. Yordanov and Edward H. Oldfield

Object. Convection-enhanced delivery (CED), the delivery and distribution of drugs by the slow bulk movement of fluid in the extracellular space, allows delivery of therapeutic agents to large volumes of the brain at relatively uniform concentrations. This mode of drug delivery offers great potential for the treatment of many neurological disorders, including brain tumors, neurodegenerative diseases, and seizure disorders. An analysis of the treatment efficacy and toxicity of this approach requires confirmation that the infusion is distributed to the targeted region and that the drug concentrations are in the therapeutic range.

Methods. To confirm accurate delivery of therapeutic agents during CED and to monitor the extent of infusion in real time, albumin-linked surrogate tracers that are visible on images obtained using noninvasive techniques (iopanoic acid [IPA] for computerized tomography [CT] and Gd—diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid for magnetic resonance [MR] imaging) were developed and investigated for their usefulness as surrogate tracers during convective distribution of a macromolecule. The authors infused albumin-linked tracers into the cerebral hemispheres of monkeys and measured the volumes of distribution by using CT and MR imaging. The distribution volumes measured by imaging were compared with tissue volumes measured using quantitative autoradiography with [14C]bovine serum albumin coinfused with the surrogate tracer. For in vivo determination of tracer concentration, the authors examined the correlation between the concentration of the tracer in brain homogenate standards and CT Hounsfield units. They also investigated the long-term effects of the surrogate tracer for CT scanning, IPA-albumin, on animal behavior, the histological characteristics of the tissue, and parenchymal toxicity after cerebral infusion.

Conclusions. Distribution of a macromolecule to clinically significant volumes in the brain is possible using convection. The spatial dimensions of the tissue distribution can be accurately defined in vivo during infusion by using surrogate tracers and conventional imaging techniques, and it is expected that it will be possible to determine local concentrations of surrogate tracers in voxels of tissue in vivo by using CT scanning. Use of imaging surrogate tracers is a practical, safe, and essential tool for establishing treatment volumes during high-flow interstitial microinfusion of the central nervous system.

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Bernhard Zünkeler, Richard E. Carson, Jeff Olson, Ronald G. Blasberg, Hetty Devroom, Robert J. Lutz, Stephen C. Saris, Donald C. Wright, William Kammerer, Nicholas J. Patronas, Robert L. Dedrick, Peter Herscovitch and Edward H. Oldfield

✓ Hyperosmolar blood-brain barrier disruption (HBBBD), produced by infusion of mannitol into the cerebral arteries, has been used in the treatment of brain tumors to increase drug delivery to tumor and adjacent brain. However, the efficacy of HBBBD in brain tumor therapy has been controversial. The goal of this study was to measure changes in vascular permeability after HBBBD in patients with malignant brain tumors. The permeability (K1) of tumor and normal brain blood vessels was measured using rubidium-82 and positron emission tomography before and repeatedly at 8- to 15-minute intervals after HBBBD. Eighteen studies were performed in 13 patients, eight with glioblastoma multiforme and five with anaplastic astrocytoma.

The HBBBD increased K1 in all patients. Baseline K1 values were 2.1 ± 1.4 and 34.1 ± 22.1 µl/minute/ml (± standard deviation) for brain and tumor, respectively. The peak absolute increases in K1 following HBBBD were 20.8 ± 11.7 and 19.7 ± 10.7 µl/minute/ml for brain and tumor, corresponding to percentage increases of approximately 1000% in brain and approximately 60% in tumor. The halftimes for return of K1 to near baseline for brain and tumor were 8.1 ± 3.8 and 4.2 ± 1.2 minutes, respectively. Simulations of the effects of HBBBD made using a very simple model with intraarterial methotrexate, which is exemplary of drugs with low permeability, indicate that 1) total exposure of the brain and tumor to methotrexate, as measured by the methotrexate concentration-time integral (or area under the curve), would increase with decreasing infusion duration and would be enhanced by 130% to 200% and by 7% to 16%, respectively, compared to intraarterial infusion of methotrexate alone; and 2) exposure time at concentrations above 1 µM, the minimal concentration required for the effects of methotrexate, would not be enhanced in tumor and would be enhanced by only 10% in brain.

Hyperosmolar blood-brain barrier disruption transiently increases delivery of water-soluble compounds to normal brain and brain tumors. Most of the enhancement of exposure results from trapping the drug within the blood-brain barrier, an effect of the very transient alteration of the blood-brain barrier by HBBBD. Delivery is most effective when a drug is administered within 5 to 10 minutes after disruption. However, the increased exposure and exposure time that occur with methotrexate, the permeability of which is among the lowest of the agents currently used clinically, are limited and the disproportionate increase in brain exposure, compared to tumor exposure, may alter the therapeutic index of many drugs.

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Intravascular streaming during carotid artery infusions

Demonstration in humans and reduction using diastole-phased pulsatile administration

Stephen C. Saris, Ronald G. Blasberg, Richard E. Carson, Hetty L. deVroom, Robert Lutz, Robert L. Dedrick, Karen Pettigrew, Richard Chang, John Doppman, Donald C. Wright, Peter Herscovitch and Edward H. Oldfield

✓ Intra-arterial carotid artery chemotherapy for malignant gliomas is limited by focal injuries to the eye and brain which may be caused by poor mixing of the drug with blood at the infusion site. This inadequate mixing can be eliminated in animal models with diastole-phased pulsatile infusion (DPPI) which creates 1-ml/sec spurts during the slow blood flow phase of diastole. Before treatment with intracarotid cisplatin, 10 patients with malignant gliomas were studied to determine whether intravascular streaming occurs after intracarotid infusion in humans, and if so, if it is reduced with DPPI. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) studies were performed by intravenous injection of H2 15O and positron emission tomography. This was followed by supraor infraophthalmic internal carotid artery (ICA) injections of H2 15O with either continuous infusion or DPPI. Local H2 15O concentration in the brain was determined and the images of radiotracer distribution in the continuous infusion and DPPI studies were compared to the rCBF images. Intravascular streaming of the infusate was identified by a heterogeneous distribution of the infused H2 15O in brain compared to rCBF.

Extensive and variable intravascular streaming occurred in three patients who received infusions into the supraophthalmic segment of the ICA. Some brain areas received up to 11 times the expected radiotracer delivery, while other regions received as little as one-tenth. This streaming pattern was markedly reduced or eliminated by DPPI. In the five patients who received infraophthalmic infusions, a minimally heterogeneous distribution of the infusate was detected. The authors conclude that extensive intravascular streaming accompanies supraophthalmic ICA infusions in patients. The magnitude of streaming can be substantially reduced or eliminated with DPPI. Those who perform intra-arterial infusion should consider using DPPI to assure uniform drug delivery to brain.

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Stephen C. Saris, Daniel R. Shook, Ronald G. Blasberg, Robert L. Dedrick, John L. Doppman, Krzysztof S. Bankiewicz, J. Bob Blacklock and Edward H. Oldfield

✓ Focal injury to the brain or retina is a frequent complication of drug delivery to the internal carotid artery (ICA) and may be due to poor mixing of the drug with blood at the infusion site. Rhesus monkeys were studied to determine whether phased drug delivery during diastole from a modified pulsatile angiographic injector would improve drug mixing in vivo. A radiolabeled flow tracer, carbon-14-iodoantipyrine (14C-IAP), was injected into the ICA of three monkeys in 80-msec pulses, each ending at least 50 msec before the end of local diastole. Local isotope concentration in the brain was determined by quantitative autoradiography. The ratio of highest to lowest concentration was 1.86 ± 0.26 (mean ± standard deviation) in the frontoparietal cortex, 1.65 ± 0.42 in the frontoparietal white matter, 1.89 ± 0.28 in the temporal cortex, and 1.39 ± 0.17 in the basal ganglia. These results were similar to recordings in three control animals that received intravenous 14C-IAP to demonstrate complete drug mixing ( 1.37 ± 0.12, 1.41 ± 0.11, 1.70 ± 0.08, 1.22 ± 0.24, respectively), and contrasted to findings in five animals which received continuous intracarotid infusions to demonstrate standard ICA drug delivery (4.54 ± 2.07, 2.94 ± 1.45, 5.43 ± 3.57, 3.60 ± 2.90, respectively). Pulsed intra-arterial infusion during diastole provides a technically simple method for improving intravascular drug mixing, and results in drug delivery to tissue capillaries that is proportional to blood flow.

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J. Bob Blacklock, Donald C. Wright, Robert L. Dedrick, Ronald G. Blasberg, Robert J. Lutz, John L. Doppman and Edward H. Oldfield

✓ Treatment of brain tumors by intra-arterial (IA) chemotherapy is occasionally complicated by sites of focal toxicity in the brain and retina. A possible cause of focal toxicity is non-uniform drug delivery due to intravascular drug streaming. To investigate this phenomenon in vivo, the authors examined the distribution of drug delivery after internal carotid artery (ICA) infusion in rhesus monkeys. Carbon-14 (14C)-labeled iodoantipyrine was delivered into the ICA of eight monkeys at slow infusion rates (1% to 2% of ICA flow) or at fast infusion rates (20% of ICA flow) combined with additional techniques to promote mixing with ICA blood. Two monkeys received intravenous (IV) 14C-antipyrine. Uniformity of delivery was assessed by comparing high-to-low ratios of isotope concentration in four brain regions evaluated by quantitative autoradiography.

There was striking non-uniformity of drug delivery in the slow IA infusion group, with as much as 13-fold differences in drug concentration in anatomically contiguous areas. The values of high-to-low concentration ratios (mean ± standard deviation) in individual autoradiographic planes were: 1) frontoparietal cortex: slow IA infusion 4.54 ± 2.07, fast IA infusion 1.71 ± 0.31, IV infusion 1.30 ± 0.174; 2) frontoparietal white matter: slow IA infusion 2.94 ± 1.45, fast IA infusion 1.59 ± 0.41, IV infusion 1.34 ± 0.21; 3) temporal cortex: slow IA infusion 5.43 ± 3.57, fast IA infusion 1.69 ± 0.24, IV infusion 1.67 ± 0.25; 4) basal ganglia: slow IA infusion 3.6 ± 2.9, fast IA infusion 1.18 ± 0.10, IV infusion 1.09 ± 0.04. Differences between concentration ratios after slow IA and fast IA infusion are significant (p < 0.01); those between fast IA and IV infusion are not significant.

Intra-arterial drug administration at infusion rates analogous to those currently used clinically results in drug streaming with markedly heterogeneous drug deposition in the perfused hemisphere. This may cause suboptimal drug levels in the tumor, and toxic levels at sites within the perfused hemisphere. This effect can be abrogated by techniques that eliminate drug streaming.

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Robert J. Lutz, Robert L. Dedrick, John W. Boretos, Edward H. Oldfield, J. Bob Blacklock and John L. Doppman

✓ Sporadic instances of retinal damage and of focal brain toxicity have been observed following intracarotid artery infusions of chemotherapeutic agents (such as BCNU and cis-platinum) for the treatment of glioblastomas. The episodic nature of these toxicities is consistent with the possibility that the drug solutions were streaming from the catheter tip and, therefore, were not well mixed or not uniformly distributed in all branches distal to the catheter tip location. To test this hypothesis, an in vitro system was fabricated which included a transparent model of the human carotid artery and its major branches. These were furnished with pulsatile flow of a blood simulant. Dye solutions infused at several infusion rates through various types of catheters in both supraophthalmic and infraophthalmic positions were monitored and recorded on videotape and photographic film. The effluent streams from distal branches of the model were collected, and the relative concentrations of dye in each branch were determined spectrophotometrically. The results indicate that infusate streaming occurs at low infusion rates. In some cases, the concentration in a given branch can be at least five times the expected concentration. Similar occurrences of streaming in vivo could cause focal toxicity. Methods to improve mixing should be used during intra-arterial administration of drugs; these include increasing the infusion rates and improving catheter tip design.

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Edward H. Oldfield, Robert L. Dedrick, Russell L. Yeager, W. Craig Clark, Hetty L. DeVroom, Dulal C. Chatterji and John L. Doppman

✓ Four patients with malignant cerebral gliomas received 1,3-bis(2-chloroethyl)-1-nitrosourea (BCNU) into the internal carotid artery (ICA) while the ipsilateral jugular drainage was pumped extracorporeally through a hemoperfusion cartridge containing a nonionic adsorbant resin. Each patient received 220 mg/sq m BCNU, infused over 45 minutes through a toposcopic catheter positioned with the tip in the ICA beyond the origin of the ophthalmic artery. Jugular blood was pumped extracorporeally at 300 ml/min through a large-bore catheter in the jugular bulb. Plasma samples were obtained for BCNU measurement at frequent intervals from the right atrium. During a separate treatment, 6 weeks before or after the hemoperfusion treatment, the same dose of BCNU was infused into the ICA and atrial samples were obtained on a similar schedule.

Hemoperfusion of the jugular blood during intracarotid infusion reduced the systemic exposure by 56% to 87% and increased total body clearance of BCNU by two- to eightfold. The calculated pharmacokinetic advantage (brain:body exposure ratio) was between 21 and 55:1 when the combined treatment was used.

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W. Craig Clark, Cheryl E. Daniels, Robert L. Dedrick, Mary E. Girton, John L. Doppman and Edward H. Oldfield

✓ Circulation of blood in the ipsilateral jugular vein through an extracorporeal circuit for drug removal during intracarotid chemotherapy has recently been reported to decrease the systemic drug exposure. The reduced systemic exposure achieved by the use of this technique should permit a several-fold increase of the intracarotid dose of chemotherapy without increasing systemic toxicity. To determine the influence of the rate of blood removal from the jugular vein on the fraction of the blood flowing through the ipsilateral internal carotid artery (ICA) collected for extracorporeal drug removal, the authors aspirated blood from the jugular bulb into an extracorporeal circuit at varying rates during a constant infusion of the indicator dye, indocyanine green (ICG), into the ICA of rhesus monkeys. The fraction of the ipsilateral carotid blood channeled into the extracorporeal circuit increased linearly with the rate of aspiration of jugular blood. This suggests that the absence of valves in the intracranial venous system should permit increasing fractions of drug removal during intracarotid infusion by increasing the rate of collection of venous blood from the ipsilateral jugular bulb. The measurement of ICG concentrations in a similar manner in patients undergoing isolated perfusion may prove to be a clinically useful method for estimating the maximum safe dose in high-dose intra-arterial chemotherapy.