Pharmacokinetics and organ distribution of fluorescein in experimental pigs: an input study for confocal laser endomicroscopy of the gastrointestinal tract.

OBJECTIVE: Confocal laser scanning endomicroscopy (CLSE) is a diagnostic technology that produces virtual histology of the mucosal layer using fluorescence technique. Fluorescein (FSC) is the most commonly used fluorescence agent. Fluorescence light coming from a horizontal special focal plane is detected during confocal laser endomicroscopy of the gastrointestinal tract. FSC causes intensive yellowish discoloration of tissues, including skin and mucous membranes. This pre-clinical study was aimed to evaluate the tissue distribution and pharmacokinetics of FSC after its intravenous administration.

METHODS: The study was performed in an adult experimental pig. A reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic method with fluorescence detection was used for the determination of fluorescein in blood plasma and tissue samples.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The pharmacokinetic study of fluorescein determined the optimum time interval for diagnostic scanning (5-10 min.) The biodistribution study of fluorescein (aimed on the potential organ accumulation) proved the high concentration in the renal system followed by levels in bile > lung > adipose tissue > all other organs (including gastrointestinal wall) and these were relatively similar to each other. Fluorescein has a significantly low distribution in the brain (contrast with the level in adipose tissue indicates the low ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier).

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