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J Nucl Med. 1982 Apr;23(4):315-8.

A modified method for the in vivo labeling of red blood cells with Tc-99m: concise communication.


The rate of incorporation of Tc-99m into red blood cells pretinned in vivo was measured by collecting blood samples in stannous DTPA solution, which served as a competing ligand for Tc-99m. This collection technique permitted a measurement of high-affinity red-cell labeling efficiency at the instant of sampling. At 0.5 min after injection only 62% of technetium is tightly bound to the red cell; this rises to 94.5% at 10 min. Based on the graded labeling of the red cells, the in vivo labeling procedure was modified by isolating pertechnetate and red blood cells tinned in vivo in a syringe during the first 10 min of labeling. The pertechnetate is thus prevented from distributing to extravascular compartments, and 90% of the injected Tc-99m is firmly bound to red blood cells at the time of injection. In a series of 23 patients, seven were tested with the in vivo method and seven with the modified in vivo method, and nine patients were tested with each method on separate occasions. A decrease in gastric activity and improved image quality were found with the modified method compared with the standard method of in vivo red-cell labeling.

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