Effect of hyperosmotic blood-brain barrier disruption on transcapillary transport in canine brain tumors

D. R. Groothuis, P. C. Warkne, P. Molnar, G. D. Lapin, M. A. Mikhael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)


Whether hyperosmotic blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption is a technique that can be used to increase permeability of brain-tumor capillaries and thereby transiently increase drug delivery to the brain tumor is controversial. Nine virally induced brain tumors were studied in seven dogs, before and after hyperosmotic BBB disruption with 1.4 osmolar mannitol. Each dog was studied with computerized tomography (CT) after administration of the water-soluble tracer meglumine iothalamate. Each study lasted 30 minutes. A baseline CT scan and 35 to 40 additional CT scans were obtained to provide a time-related measurement of the amount of meglumine iothalamate in tissue (A(m)(t)), and 30 plasma samples were collected to provide the time-related measurement of meglumine iothalamate in plasma (C(p)(t)). The data were analyzed by three different methods: 1) a two-compartment model and nonlinear curve fitting were used to calculate K1 (blood-to-tissue or influx constant), k2 (tissue-to-blood or efflux constant), and V(p) (plasma vascular space); 2) K1 values were calculated with a two-compartement model, assuming no efflux, at the time point for each CT scan; and 3) a 'tissue advantage ratio' was calculated that expressed the ratio of tissue uptake of meglumine iothalamate at each time point, comparing values before and after BBB disruption. Regardless of which method of data analysis was used, there was a marked and significant increase in transcapillary transport of meglumine iothalamate to tumor-free brain regions, while there was only a small, and insignificant increase to the brain tumors. Although there were often marked increases in delivery to cortex in the same hemisphere as the tumors, there was no significant increase to brain immediately surrounding the tumors, perhaps due to altered circulatory dynamics in this region. These data raise serious questions as to the wisdom of using this technique to increase drug delivery to brain tumors in patients and strongly support the continued study of this technique in experimental brain tumors before it is used in patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-449
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1990


  • blood-brain barrier
  • brain neoplasm
  • dog
  • drug delivery
  • transcapillary transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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