Technetium-99m NGA functional hepatic imaging: Preliminary clinical experience

R. C. Stadalnik, D. R. Vera, E. S. Woodle, W. L. Trudeau, B. A. Porter, R. E. Ward, K. A. Krohn, L. F. O'Grady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Technetium-99m galactosyl-neoglycoalbumin ([Tc]NGA) is a radiolabeled ligand to hepatic binding protein, a receptor which resides at the plasma membrane of hepatocytes. This receptor-binding radiopharmaceutical and its kinetic model provide a noninvasive method for the assessment of liver function. Eighteen patients were studied: seven with hepatoma, eight with liver metastases, four with cirrhosis (two had concurrent hepatoma and one chronic active hepatitis), and one patient with acute fulminant non-A, non-B hepatitis. Technetium-99m NGA liver imaging provided anatomic information of diagnostic quality comparable to that obtained with other routine imaging modalities, including computed tomography, angiography, ultrasound, and [Tc]sulfur colloid scintigraphy. Kinetic modeling of dynamic [Tc]NGA data produced estimates of standardized hepatic blood flow, Q̄ (hepatic blood flow divided by total blood volume), and hepatic binding protein concentration, [HBP]. Clinical correlation was by classical Child-Turcotte criteria (CTC). Significant rank correlation was obtained between [HBP] estimates and CTC scores (r(s) = -0.72, p = 0.001). This correlation supports the hypothesis that [HBP] is a measure of functional hepatocyte mass. The combination of decreased Q̄ and markedly reduced [HBP] may have prognostic significance; all three patients with this combination died of hepatic failure within 6 wk of imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1233-1242
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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