A time-gated fluorescence imaging technique was applied on tumor-bearing porphyrin-treated mice to study the sensitizer distribution in different organs and tissue types, and to establish whether false positives in the diagnosis of tumors (based on porphyrin fluorescence) could be generated by this localization in healthy tissues. Mice were administered 25 mg/kg body weight (b.w.) of HpD or 5 mg/kg b.w. of PII, and sacrificed 8 hr later. Time- gated fluorescence images were acquired from tumor, skin, muscle, fat, brain, heart, lung, lymph nodes, liver, bowel, spleen, and bone of both treated and untreated animals. Similar results were obtained with HpD and PII. The presence of porphyrins clearly helps the localization of the neoplastic area, which is characterized by the strongest fluorescence in delayed images. An appreciable long-living emission was observed also in bones. With the exception of the bowel, the fluorescence of other organs was weaker and, in untreated mice, short-living.