Biochemical Considerations in the Design of Radiopharmaceuticals

  • David R. Elmaleh
  • E. Livni
  • S. Levy
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSE, volume 61)


The goal of radiopharmaceutical chemistry is to design and develop radiotracers targeted to an organ or function whose activity kinetics in tissue can be detected externally by a gamma or a positron device. Three years ago, Eckelman and Reba (1) divided radiopharmaceuticals into the general categories of specific and non-specific agents. The specific radiopharmaceuticals are the tracers that follow a biochemical pathway or are involved in a particular interaction, for example metabolic substrates, drugs or analogs, and antibodies, Non-specific radiopharmaceuticals include radiolabeled liposomes, cells, microspheres, perfusion agents, inert gases, ethers, alcohols or thallium-201. The design and development of both types of radiopharmaceuticals are important. In the case of myocardial imaging agents, a perfusion agent that will enable differentiation of various stages of ischemia and infarction is as essential as a specific tracer that will reflect metabolism since both perfusion and metabolic functions change with injury.


Cerebral Blood Flow Structure Activity Relationship Brain Uptake Oxygen Utilization Label Amino Acid 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Elmaleh
    • 1
  • E. Livni
    • 1
  • S. Levy
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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