- In its simplest form, the photodynamic therapy (PDT) threshold dose model states that tissue necrosis due to PDT will occur if the number of photons absorbed by the photosensitizer per unit volume of tissue exceeds a critical value. This threshold is given by the product of photon fluence, photosensitizer concentration and specific absorption coefficient. To test the validity of this concept for PDT of normal rat liver sensitized with aluminum chlorosulphonated phthalocyanine (AISPC), all three of these parameters were varied by changing the injected AISPC dose, the wavelength of excitation and the irradiation geometry. The extent of necrosis caused by the treatment was consistent with the threshold model, except when the concentration of AISPC in the liver exceeded 20 micrograms g-1. For this animal model, we estimate the threshold to be (3.8 +/- 0.2) x 10(19) photons cm-3.