Direct comparison of Tc-99m DTPA and Tc-99m HMPAO for evaluating brain death

Clin Nucl Med. 1994 Oct;19(10):867-72. doi: 10.1097/00003072-199410000-00005.


Portable cerebral perfusion studies provide a quick and accurate alternative to traditional confirmatory examinations (such as four-vessel angiography and electroencephalography) to determine brain death. The authors retrospectively analyzed 26 cerebral perfusion studies using both Tc-99m DTPA and Tc-99m HMPAO. The flow agents gave identical results. Additionally, the delayed-phase Tc-99m HMPAO images gave the same results for brain death (14 positive and 12 negative) as the flow images from either agent. Because the Tc-99m HMPAO delayed images can be used for diagnosis, many technical problems become less crucial. Unlike Tc-99m DTPA, Tc-99m HMPAO normally visualizes the gray matter of the cerebellum, midbrain, and medulla. These areas must be evaluated to ensure that they meet the strict criteria for brain death. These differences and the present study suggest that Tc-99m HMPAO is a superior agent for cerebral perfusion studies to determine brain death.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Death / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organotechnetium Compounds*
  • Oximes*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime
  • Technetium Tc 99m Pentetate*
  • Time Factors


  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Oximes
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime
  • Technetium Tc 99m Pentetate