What are the alternatives to Tc-99m?
There is no one alternative for all the uses of Tc-99m, but there are alternatives available for some uses. It is up to the health care provider to make specific decisions about diagnosis and treatment. Patient’s needs, as well as a facility’s ability to access and use alternatives, inform health care providers’ decisions about alternatives for diagnosis and treatment. Some alternative isotopes have decay faster than Tc-99m, which makes their availability limited.1 Alternative isotopes that can be used with existing cameras: Alternative isotopes that can be used with existing cameras (SPECT and gamma cameras) offer advantages because they can use existing infrastructure. The alternative isotopes are produced by small accelerators, called cyclotrons, and are not reliant on nuclear reactors. • Thallium-201 is approved as an alternative for most heart tests, which account for approximately half of all Tc-99m procedures in Canada. • Iodine-123 is approved to image kidneys. It can also be u