Last update May 28, 2019
Metastable Technetium 99 (99mTc) is a radioactive isotope that emits gamma radiation. Its radioactive decay half-life is 6.0 hours.
After radioactive labelling with sodium pertechnetate (99mTc) solution, the technetium (99mTc) pentetate solution obtained is used in scintigraphy for the diagnosis of renal, cerebral, pulmonary or gastroesophageal disease by intravenous, inhaled or oral administration.
Between 0.01% and 0.2% of the administered dose is excreted in breast milk (Leide 2016, Liepe 2016).
Breastfeeding interruption or close contact avoidance times are calculated so that the infant is not exposed to more than 1 millisievert (1 mSv = 0.1 rem) of radiation (ARSAC 2019, US.NCR 2016, ICRP 2008, Stabin 2000). An adult receives between 5 and 10 mSv annually from environmental radiation.
The main regulatory agencies which manage radioactive substances and experts consider that breastfeeding can be resumed immediately after a diagnostic test with Tc 99m Penetrate (Mitchell 2019, ARSAC 2019 p51, US.NCR 2016 tab U.3, ICRP 2008 p163, Stabin 2000).
Some agencies (ARSAC 2019, ICRP 2008, Ahlgren 1985, Mountford 1985 y 1984) consider it more prudent to discontinue breastfeeding for about 4 hours, expressing breast milk once and instead offering milk previously expressed and stored in a refrigerator prior to testing.
If the dose administered was ≥ 800 MBq, a 5-hour interruption is recommended (ARSAC 2019 p51).
Milk expressed after scintigraphy can be frozen and used after 10 radioactive half lives: 10 x 6.0 = 60 hours = 3 days (Hale 2017, p.2019).
Close contact with the infant need not be avoided (Mountford 1999).
We do not have alternatives for Technetium 99m Pentetate (DTPA).
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.
Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.
Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.