A method for 99mTc-diethylenetriaminepentaacetate (DTPA) gamma-camera renography is presented. From each renogram, an uptake index (UI) proportional to the single-kidney glomerular filtration rate (SKGFR) is defined. If the proportionality factor between UI and SKGFR is the same in all patients, UI can be used as an accurate measure of SKGFR. In order to test this, 99mTc-DTPA renography was performed in 101 patients with glomerular filtration rates (GFR) varying between 4 and 172 ml/min. The sum of the right-and left-kidney UIs correlated well with the total GFR calculated from the simultaneously measured plasma clearance of 99mTc-DTPA after a single injection. The correlation coefficient was 0.97. The method was tested in a prospective study of 57 patients. The total GFR estimated from the renograms was not significantly different from the GFR calculated from the plasma clearance of 99mTc-DTPA. The coefficient of variation—a combination of inaccuracy and imprecision in the estimates as well as in the reference values — was 11.8% at a GFR of 100 ml/min. It is concluded that, in adults, the SKGFR can be calculated as part of the clinical routine from 99mTc-DTPA gamma-camera renography without determining the injected dose or collecting urine or blood samples. Normal values for some parameters of the renogram obtained in 25 normal subjects are given.
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