Radiopharmaceuticals for radiation synovectomy: Evaluation of two yttrium-90 particulate agents

M. A. Davis, M. Chinol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radiation synovectomy, a noninvasive therapeutic alternative to surgical synovectomy, has not gained widespread acceptance in the United States because of the lack of a suitable radiopharmaceutical. Two new radioactive particles, [ 90Y]Ca oxalate and [ 90Y]ferric hydroxide macroaggregates (FHMA), were developed in our laboratory and evaluated for size, stability, and joint leakage. More than 90% of the [ 90Y]Ca oxalate particles were in the optimal size range of 1-10 μm, and the unbound activity in serum and synovial fluid was 3.7% to 5.0%. Following injection in rabbit knees, leakage of [ 90Y]Ca oxalate was 5 ± 2%, with localization primarily in the bone and virtually no uptake by the lymph nodes or liver. Yttrium-90 FHMA particles were larger (95% > 10 μm), and at least on a microscopic level, appeared to distribute homogeneously over the articular surface. Leakage of [ 90Y]FHMA was initially less but eventually slightly exceeded that of [ 90Y]Ca oxalate. Nevertheless, both radiopharmaceuticals can provide a satisfactory therapeutic dose to the knee with less than half the leakage and a marked reduction in absorbed dose to nontarget tissues compared to previously tested agents. Ease of preparation, physical characteristics of the 90Y beta ray, and apparent lack of substantial leakage from the joint make these agents extremely attractive for clinical evaluation in rheumatoid arthritis patients who are unresponsive to medical therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1055
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Radiopharmaceuticals for radiation synovectomy: Evaluation of two yttrium-90 particulate agents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this