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J Nucl Med. 2009 Mar;50(3):454-60. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.108.058768. Epub 2009 Feb 17.

99mTc(CO)3-nitrilotriacetic acid: a new renal radiopharmaceutical showing pharmacokinetic properties in rats comparable to those of 131I-OIH.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


To develop a (99m)Tc renal tracer with a capacity to measure effective renal plasma flow comparable to that of the clinical gold standard (131)I-o-iodohippurate ((131)I-OIH) and superior to that of (99m)TcO-mercaptoacetyltriglycine, which has a clearance only 50%-60% that of (131)I-OIH, we investigated (99m)Tc-tricarbonyl nitrilotriacetic acid (Na(2)[(99m)Tc(CO)(3)(NTA)]). This radiopharmaceutical, which is based on an aminopolycarboxylate ligand, is formed as a single species and has a dangling carboxylate group favoring tubular transport.


Na(2)[(99m)Tc(CO)(3)(NTA)] was prepared by using commercially available NTA and an IsoLink kit and isolated by high-performance liquid chromatography. The stability of Na(2)[(99m)Tc(CO)(3)(NTA)] in isotonic saline was assessed for 24 h and was further evaluated by incubation in 0.1 M cysteine and histidine for 4 h at 37 degrees C. The biodistribution of Na(2)[(99m)Tc(CO)(3)(NTA)], coinjected with (131)I-OIH as an internal control, was evaluated in 5 normal Sprague-Dawley rats at 10 min, 5 normal Sprague-Dawley rats at 60 min (group A), and 6 rats with renal pedicle ligation at 60 min (group B) after injection. Clearance and extraction fraction studies were conducted in 2 normal Sprague-Dawley rats, and urine and plasma from 2 additional normal rats each were analyzed for metabolites by high-performance liquid chromatography.


The radiochemical purity of Na(2)[(99m)Tc(CO)(3)(NTA)] was greater than 99%, the complex was stable for 24 h at physiologic pH, and the challenge experiments showed no degradation. In normal rats, the percentage dose in the urine at 10 and 60 min was 108% +/- 9% and 101% +/- 5%, respectively, that of (131)I-OIH; minimal hepatic or gastrointestinal activity was demonstrated. In group B rats, Na(2)[(99m)Tc(CO)(3)(NTA)] was better retained in the blood and had less excretion into the bowel than did (131)I-OIH (P < 0.01). The plasma clearances of Na(2)[(99m)Tc(CO)(3)(NTA)] and (131)I-OIH were comparable, but the extraction fraction of Na(2)[(99m)Tc(CO)(3)(NTA)] was 93.5% +/- 3.8%, compared with 67.9% +/- 6.1% for (131)I-OIH. Plasma protein binding of Na(2)[(99m)Tc(CO)(3)(NTA)] averaged 67% +/- 7%, and red cell uptake was 7% +/- 2%.


Na(2)[(99m)Tc(CO)(3)(NTA)] is stable, exists as a single species, and has pharmacodynamic properties in rats comparable to those of (131)I-OIH.

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