Radiopharmaceutical-related pitfalls and artifacts

Semin Nucl Med. 1996 Oct;26(4):208-55. doi: 10.1016/s0001-2998(96)80002-x.


The primary goal of this review article is to increase the reader's knowledge and understanding of problems associated with the radiopharmaceuticals commonly used in daily practice. To achieve this objective, problems related to the commonly used radiopharmaceuticals are divided into pitfalls and artifacts related to radiopharmaceutical preparation (technetium-99m [99mTc]-labeled and non-99mTc-labeled radiopharmaceutical) and those related to radiopharmaceutical administration. For the radiopharmaceutical formulation-associated pitfalls and artifacts, problems are discussed in terms of factor categories, such as factors associated with radionuclides, factors associated with components, factors associated with preparation procedures, and miscellaneous factors. As for the pitfalls and artifacts caused by radiopharmaceutical administration, these problems are categorized into errors associated with administration technique and nontechnical errors. Clinical manifestations (ie, appearance upon imaging) from the numerous literature-based examples are presented. The effect of the causative factors and the reason each factor can result in radiopharmaceutical preparation and administration problems are discussed. In addition, the possible preventive actions are presented for each group. However, the cause of some pharmaceutical related problems may not be easily recognized, and thus it is difficult to develop preventive and/or corrective plans for these cases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts*
  • Humans
  • Radionuclide Imaging*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Technetium*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium