Technetium-labelled erythrocytes provide a satisfactory agent for the measurement of red-cell volume with the advantages that there is a low radiation dose and repeated measurements can be readily carried out. A method of labelling red cells using 99TcmO4− with a small amount of stannous chloride has been evaluated in 20 patients, and compared with measurements of red-cell volume with 51Cr-labelled erythrocytes carried out simultaneously in the same subjects.
No significant differences between the results by either method occurred if the period of observation was limited to 20 minutes after the injection of labelled cells. Thereafter, elution of Tc from the cells made the determination of red-cell volume with 99Tcm less reliable. Accordingly, the use of 99Tcm as the label for red-cell volume measurements will result in errors if mixing of the erythrocyte pool is delayed, unless an elution correction factor is applied.
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