Content » Vol 66, Issue 5

Tissue distribution of aromatic retinoid (etretinate) in three autopsy cases: drug accumulation in adrenals and fat

Vahlquist A, Rollman O, Pihl-Lundin I.
DOI: 10.2340/0001555566431434


The problematic storage of etretinate in fat during chronic etretinate therapy prompted us to search for other "high-affinity" tissues in 3 patients studied at autopsy. Specimens from eleven organs were analysed for etretinate and its main metabolite, etretin, by high-performance liquid chromatography. The results confirmed an accumulation of etretinate in fat and to a lesser degree in liver. High levels of etretinate were also found in the adrenals and, in one case, this value exceeded that of the fat tissue. Low levels were observed in several other organs, notably the kidneys, brain and testis. With the possible exception of liver and gut, the metabolite did not accumulate in any particular organ. Although the available data is still limited, the risk that the accumulation of etretinate in the adrenals may adversely affect adrenal function must be examined.


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