A New "Dry Column/Wet Column" 99mTc Generator: Benefits and Problems


J. J. Coupal, M. T. Hackett, W. J. Shih


The Tc-99m generator remains the workhorse of diagnostic nuclear medicine, even after 38 years. Since its development in 1957 at Brookhaven National Laboratory and first clinical use in 1961, that device has endured periodic tweaking of design and operational characteristics to improve clinical performance. Commercial manufacturers of Tc-99m generators have chosen to market either a "wet-column" or a "dry-column" device. (That is, the column either contains the aqueous 0.9% sodium chloride eluant or is freed of it, respectively, prior to shipment to customer.) That choice was based on operational convenience and on daughter Tc-99m pertechnetate eluate properties perceived as desirable by the nuclear pharmacist, radiochemist and/or clinician employing the generator. In April 1997, Mallinckrodt Medical Inc. (St Louis, MO) introduced the Ultra-TechneKow® DTE Tc-99m Generator (DTE = "dry-ship; top–elute"). That unique product is shipped with the Mo-99 first adsorbed to the alumina column and then freed of eluant. Upon receipt, the generator is affixed with a supplied 135-ml bottle of eluant, sufficient for two weeks of elutions. Thus, the clinical elution is from a dry-column generator; all subsequent elutions are from a wet-column generator. With introduction to the market of the DTE, the previous wet-column Ultra-TechneKow® FM (i.e., fission Mo-99) Tc-99m Generator, featuring elution at the bottom of the unit, was withdrawn.


This abstract was presented at the 32nd Annual Midyear Meeting, "Creation and Future Legacy of Stockpile Stewardship Isotope Production, Applications, and Consumption", Isotope Production, Applications, and Safety Session, 1/24/1999 - 1/27/1999, held in Albuquerque, NM.

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