To devise a protocol for the radiolabelling of mixed leucocytes with 99Tcm-hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime (99Tcm-HMPAO), the effect of HMPAO concentration, cell concentration, plasma concentration and anticoagulant on the uptake of the lipophilic complex was measured, together with the stability of the 99Tcm on the labelled cells. It was found that cell uptake was rapid, independent of HMPAO concentration over the range 20-80 micrograms ml-1, but dependent on cell and plasma concentration. Incubation of mixed leucocytes from 85 ml blood with 1 ml ACD-plasma and 4 ml 99Tcm-HMPAO containing 400 MBq 99Tcm for 10 min at room temperature gave optimum results and was used in 90 patients. The mean labelling efficiency, which was the amount of added 99Tcm incorporated by the cells, was 55% (+/- 13 S.D.), of which 77% were incorporated by the granulocytes, 17% by the mononuclear cells and 6% by the platelets and erythrocytes. During a 1 h incubation in plasma 9% (+/- 4% S.D.) of the 99Tcm were released from the labelled mixed leucocytes. This occurred predominantly from the mononuclear cells.