Methotrexate disposition following disruption of the blood-brain barrier

Markowsky J. Susan, Cheryl L. Zimmerman, Debra Tholl, Inmaculada Soria, Reynaldo Castillo

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13 Scopus citations


Intracarotid drug administration after osmotic blood-brain barrier disruption (BBBD) enhances drug delivery to brain tumors. Despite clinical use, the pharmacokinetics of drugs following BBBD has not been described to date. Since methotrexate exhibits a concentration-toxicity response relationship, methotrexate disposition was determined following BBBD and intracarotid administration in seven patients with nonoperable brain tumors. Following a 1.5–5 g intracarotid methotrexate injection, 12 blood samples and 9 urine collections were obtained. Methotrexate concentrations in serum and urine were determined by fluorescence polarization immunoassay. The serum concentration-time data were best described by a three-compartment model. Systemic and renal clearances were consistent with previous studies. However, a prolonged mean terminal half-life of 51.5 h was observed. Serum methotrexate concentrations at 72 h exceeded 0.1 mol/L in five of seven patients. Stomatitis occurred in one patient. Relative to previous reports, prolonged methotrexate half-life and cytotoxic methotrexate concentrations were observed in the serum of patients receiving intracarotid methotrexate following BBBD. Due to the prolonged cytotoxic methotrexate concentrations observed, extended leucovorin therapy may be indicated following BBBD and intracarotid methotrexate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalTherapeutic drug monitoring
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991


  • Blood-brain barrier disruption
  • Brain tumor
  • Methotrexate pharmacokinetics


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