Albumin-tagged sodium pertechnetate (technetium) is routinely used in nuclear medicine for scanning procedures of the lung. The rate of excretion of this radionuclide into breast milk and the resultant potential radiation hazard to the nursing infant have received little attention. Therefore the milk from a nursing mother who required a lung scan because of suspected pulmonary emboli using an intravenous injection of 4 mCi of technetium Tc 99 macroaggregated human serum albumin was monitored. Albumin tagging severely limited the entrance of technetium into her milk and the radio-activity of the milk returned to base line by 24 hours. A total of 2.02 µCi of technetium was measured in the 24-hour milk collection after technetium injection and 94% of this amount was excreted by 15.5 hours. This amount of technetium administered orally to a newborn would deliver a total body radiation dose of .3 mrad. Therefore, an infant would receive trivial doses of radiation if breast-feeding were resumed 15.5 hours after administration of the radionuclide to the mother and nursing can clearly be resumed safely 24 hours after injection.
- Received April 13, 1981.
- Accepted August 21, 1981.
- Copyright © 1982 by the American Academy of Pediatrics