August 29, 2016
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The pertechnetate ion distributes in the body similarly to the iodide ion but is not organified when trapped in the thyroid gland. Pertechnetate concentrates in the thyroid gland, salivary glands, stomach and choroid plexus. After intravenous administration it gradually equilibrates with the extracellular space. A fraction is promptly excreted via the kidneys.

Following the administration of Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m as an eye drop, the drug mixes with tears within the conjunctival space. Within seconds to minutes it leaves the conjunctival space and escapes into the inferior meatus of the nose through the nasolacrimal drainage system. During this process the pertechnetate ion passes through the canaliculi, the lacrimal sac and the nasolacrimal duct. In the event of any anatomical or functional blockage of the drainage system there will be a backflow resulting in tearing (epiphora). Thus the pertechnetate escapes the conjunctival space in the tears.

While the major part of the pertechnetate escapes within a few minutes of normal drainage and tearing, it has been documented that there is some degree of transconjunctival absorption with turnover of 1.5% per minute in normal individuals, 2.1% per minute in patients without any sac and 2.7% per minute in patients with inflamed conjunctiva due to chronic dacryocystitis. Individual values may vary but these rates are probably representative and indicate that the maximum possible pertechnetate absorbed will remain below one thousandth of that used in other routine diagnostic procedures.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/3/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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