Tc-99m sestamibi

Dr Henry Knipe and Radswiki et al.

Tc-99m sestamibi is one of the technetium radiopharmaceuticals


  • photon energy: 140 KeV
  • physical half life: 6 hours
  • normal distribution: thyroid, parathyroid, heart
  • excretion: hepatobiliary
  • target organ: colon, kidneys, bladder, gallbladder

Uses, doses and timings

  • parathyroid scan
  • adult dose: 20 mCi IV
  • timing: early scan at 15 min; delayed scan at 2 hours

Tc99m-sestamibi is a radiopharmaceutical that is taken up by cells with a high concentration of mitochondria i.e. highly cellular/metabolically active tissues such as the heart but also abnormal tissues such as oxyphil cell parathyroid adenomas, myeloma and breast cancer (the basis of so-called scintimammography). This latter technique has a high specificity for cancer but uses significant radiation dose. 

When the radiopharmaceutical is used for parathyroid imaging, immediate and delayed imaging of the neck and mediastinum is performed - parathyroid adenomas are best demonstrated on delayed imaging (1-2 hours).

Physics and imaging technology: nuclear medicine
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Article information

rID: 15564
System: Head & Neck
Section: Radiography
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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