From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

19-Iodocholesterol is a specialized derivative of the naturally occurring lipid, cholesterol. It distinguishes itself from cholesterol by the addition of an iodine atom at the 19-position of the molecule.

Chemical Structure and Derivation[edit | edit source]

The structure of 19-Iodocholesterol bears a close resemblance to that of cholesterol, barring the substitution of an iodine atom at the 19th position. This strategic addition grants the molecule unique radiographic properties, especially when the iodine is a radioactive isotope.

Radioactive Isotopes[edit | edit source]

Two primary radioactive isotopes of iodine, namely iodine-125 (I-125) and iodine-131 (I-131), can be integrated into the 19-Iodocholesterol structure. When integrated, these isotopes impart specific radiographic characteristics to the molecule, making it a valuable tool in clinical diagnostics.

Clinical Applications[edit | edit source]

19-Iodocholesterol, when labeled with radioactive iodine isotopes, emerges as a significant radiocontrast agent, particularly for the adrenal cortex.

Evaluation of Adrenal Conditions[edit | edit source]

Given its distinctive properties, 19-Iodocholesterol has been utilized in the evaluation of a range of adrenal conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Cushing's syndrome: A hormonal disorder caused by prolonged exposure to high levels of the hormone cortisol.
  • Hyperaldosteronism: A condition in which the adrenal glands produce too much of the hormone aldosterone.
  • Pheochromocytoma: A rare, usually noncancerous (benign) tumor that develops in an adrenal gland.
  • Adrenal remnants post-adrenalectomy: Helps in detecting any residual adrenal tissue after a total adrenalectomy.

The molecule aids in generating a radiographic contrast, thereby facilitating the visualization and assessment of these conditions and any associated structural abnormalities.

Safety and Precautions[edit | edit source]

Using a radioactive substance for diagnostic purposes mandates stringent safety precautions. While 19-Iodocholesterol has proven valuable in adrenal diagnostics, it's crucial to monitor the dosage and ensure that the patient's exposure remains within acceptable limits.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD