The learner should:
- Ensure that (s)he can perform a complete radiopharmaceutical preparation without error or assistance.
- Ensure (s)he understands the issues regarding patient, personnel and environment safety when working with radioactive materials and is able to apply that knowledge in practice when preparing a radiopharmaceutical.
Introduction to Radiopharmaceutical Preparation
Radiopharmaceuticals are pharmaceutical products that include a radionuclide in their composition. They are used in Nuclear Medicine mainly for diagnosis but some are also used for therapeutic treatment of human diseases. See further information on Radiopharmaceuticals.
In the current situation, radiopharmaceuticals labelled with technetium-99m are by far the most used preparations in Nuclear Medicine. Among them 99mTc-medronate, also called 99mTc-methylene diphosphonic acid or 99mTc-MDP is a well established bone seeking agent.
As stated above, the preparation of technetium-99m radiopharmaceuticals is mostly carried out in the hospital radiopharmacy shortly before administration to the patient. When preparing radiopharmaceuticals, certain safety and quality issues must be considered.
More detailed information related to the preparation of radiopharmaceuticals in general and of 99mTc-MDP in particular is provided in this module under the following headings:
- Entering the hot-lab;
- Selection of labelling kits;
- Preparation of the working area and selection of accessory materials;
- Radiolabelling with 99mTc and calculation of doses;
- Dispensing of 99mTc-MDP doses;
- Radioactive waste management;
- Radiation monitoring and decontamination;
- Exiting the hot-lab;