PURPOSE: To examine benzoporphyrin derivative angiography as a modality for studying photosensitizer biodistribution in experimental choroidal melanomas. METHODS: A liposomal preparation of benzoporphyrin derivative was used in this study. Digital benzoporphyrin derivative angiograms were performed in 10 rabbits (six for experimental choroidal melanomas, two for normal choroids, and two for irides) using a Topcon ImageNet H1024 digital imaging system, a Kodak Megaplus video camera, and a Topcon TRC-50-VT fundus camera. Only one eye from each rabbit was used. Filters specifically designed for benzoporphyrin derivative (peak absorption at 580 nm and peak emission at 695 nm) were used. Benzoporphyrin derivative (1 mg/kg) was injected into an ear vein while images of tumor, normal choroid, or iris were being obtained. Follow.up images were obtained during the first 3 hours and at 24 hours after injection. Fluorescence microscopy was performed in all 10 rabbits using 1 mg/kg of benzoporphyrin derivative. Tumor-bearing eyes were enucleated at the same time points that angiograms were performed, and the two sets of results were compared for maximum dye accumulation. RESULTS: Digital angiography demonstrated that maximal benzoporphyrin derivative fluorescence occurred in tumors 15 to 45 minutes after injection. Fluorescence photometry corroborated these results. CONCLUSION: Photosensitizer angiography is a valid modality for determining the optimum treatment time for photodynamic therapy.
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