Technetium agents

Technetium agents based on the technetium-99m (Tc-99m) radioisotope are frequently used agents in medical imaging. The radioactive technetium radiotracer can be chelated to a number of different compounds to create specific radiopharmaceuticals and optimise the functional imaging of various structures:

  • Tc-99m ECD: CNS imaging
  • Tc-99m GHA : oncological imaging (e.g. low-grade glioma, lung)
  • Tc-99m sulphur colloid
    • splenic and hepatic imaging
    • taken up by the spleen, Kupffer cells in the liver and a small proportion by bone marrow
    • bone marrow and soft tissue infection scintigraphy
    • lymphatic scintigraphy, e.g. sentinel node lymphoscintigraphy
  • Tc-99m pertechnetate
    • thyroid imaging
    • Meckel scan
    • testicular scintigraphy
    • parathyroid subtraction study
    • gastric emptying, intestinal and rectal functional studies
  • Tc-99m MDP:  bone scintigraphy
  • Tc-99m MAA: lung perfusion imaging
  • Tc-99m teboroxime: cardiac imaging
  • Tc-99m metformin
  • Tc-99m MIBI
    • cardiac imaging
    • parathyroid imaging
    Tc-99m HIDA : hepatobiliary scintigraphy
  • Tc-99m HMPAO: cerebral perfusion imaging
  • Tc-99m HMPAO labelled WBC: infection scintigraphy
  • Tc-99m-labeled monoclonal antibody fragments: infection scintigraphy, approved for osteomyelitis
  • Tc-99m labelled RBC
    • assessment of occult gastrointestinal haemorrhage
    • assessment of vascular lesions, e.g. hepatic haemangioma
    • assessment of cardiac function, first pass or equilibrium
  • Tc-99m labelled heat-denatured RBC: specific splenic assessment, gold-standard in splenosis
  • Tc-99m MAG3: renal imaging
  • Tc-99m DMSA:  renal cortical imaging
  • Tc-99m DTPA: glomerular renal imaging, glomerular filtration ratio
  • Tc-99m DTPA (aerosol): lung ventilation imaging, bronchial clearance
  • Tc-99m sestamibi: parathyroid imaging
Physics and imaging technology: nuclear medicine
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Article information

rID: 10696
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Tc-99 agents
  • 99Tc agents
  • Tc99 compounds
  • Technetium radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tc 99 radiopharmaceuticals
  • 99Tc radiopharmaceuticals
  • 99mTc radiopharmaceuticals

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Cases and figures

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    Nm Thyroid Scan
    99m Tc pertechnatate : showing ectopic thyroid
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    99m Tc MDP showing bone uptake
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    Right PUJ obstruc...
    99m Tc MAG3 scan showing PUJ obstruction
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    99m Tc ECD brain perfusion scan
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