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Pulmonary embolization of permanently implanted radioactive palladium-103 seeds for carcinoma of the prostate

, : Pulmonary embolization of permanently implanted radioactive palladium-103 seeds for carcinoma of the prostate. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics 39(3): 667-670

Purpose: It has been reported that permanently implanted iodine-125 seeds can embolize to the lungs. There is little data on the embolization of palladium-103 seeds. The purpose of this study is to collect and evaluate data on the embolization of Pd-103 seeds. Methods and Materials: The records of 112 patients implanted with Pd-103 for carcinoma of the prostate were reviewed to systemically study the incidence and dynamics of pulmonary embolism of Pd-103 seeds. Five patients had no postoperative chest radiograph and were thus excluded, leaving 107 patients for review. Results: Chest radiographs of 19 of the 107 patients showed embolized seeds in the lungs (18%). Two patients had three seeds each, nine patients had two seeds each; and in the remaining eight patients, a single seed migrated to the lungs. The seeds migrated mainly (84%) to the lower lobes. None of the eight patients who had their first postoperative chest radiograph on the day of the implant showed any embolized seeds. The embolized seed appeared only on subsequent chest radiographs taken 27 to 40 days later. Ten of the other 11 patients who had their first radiograph 1 to 97 days after brachytherapy had embolized seeds on their first chest radiograph. In the other patient, the embolized seed appeared only on a subsequent chest radiograph taken after 127 days. There were no clinical pulmonary or cardiac effects evident on routine follow-up of these patients with pulmonary embolized seeds. Conclusion: Embolization of Pd-103 seeds to the lungs after implantation for carcinoma of the prostate is an unusual event. In this study only 0.3% of the seeds implanted migrated to the lungs. Although it was previously thought that pulmonary seed migration mainly occurred on the day of brachytherapy, our experience shows that seeds usually migrated to the lungs after the day of the implant. There were no clinical pulmonary or cardiac effects attributable to embolized seeds in the lungs on routine follow-up.


PMID: 9336147

DOI: 10.1016/s0360-3016(97)00342-8

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