Improving Lives Through Nuclear Medicine™



Canada: temporary shortage of Xenon-133

Due to the planned maintenance shutdown of the RNU reactor, a Xenon-133 shortage is estimated to last until May 25th.

COMMUNICATION: Use of Tc-99m DTPA in Lung Ventilation during Xe-133 supply shortage

Dear Valued Jubilant DraxImage Customer,

As you are aware, due to the planned maintenance shutdown of the Canadian National Research Universal (NRU) reactor during the weeks of April 15 and April 27, 2015, a Xenon-133 shortage is estimated for at least the weeks of May 11 and May 18, 2015.

Xenon-1331 is generated as part of the Mo-99 manufacturing process, and Nordion is currently the only supplier of Xe-133 supplied to them from NRU.

DRAXIMAGE® Xenon Xe 133, USP is indicated in Canada for the diagnostic evaluation of pulmonary function, accordingly this product will be in a supply shortage for the above-mentioned dates.

In this current Xenon shortage situation, Jubilant DraxImage Inc. would like to advise the Nuclear medicine community of the continued and uninterrupted availability of DRAXIMAGE® DTPA (Kit for the Preparation of Technetium Tc 99m Pentetate Injection) which can be used to perform lung ventilation studies when administered by inhalation following nebulization to a radioaerosol.

According to the label: Technetium Tc-99m pentetate, administered by inhalation following nebulization to a radioaerosol, may be used to perform lung ventilation studies as an aid in the assessment of pulmonary embolic or obstructive airway disease.2

Please review the label for administration instructions.

Lung ventilation imaging with radioaerosol Tc-99m DTPA is a recognized substitute for Xenon and has more than 30 years of use in performing lung ventilation imaging history supported by hundreds of independent publications in peer reviewed journals3-8.

Tc-99m DTPA pulmonary ventilation imaging is also endorsed by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) in their clinical practice guidelines for lung scintigraphy9.  The European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM)10, 11and the American College of Radiology (ACR)12  have similarly endorsed and published clinical practice guidelines in support of Tc-99m DTPA’s use in pulmonary ventilation.

This communication is to confirm and ensure that the Nuclear Medicine Community can continue to provide Canadian patients, who are in need of a ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) procedure, an alternative to Xenon during the outage.
If you require further information please contact our Customer Service Department at or 1-888-633-5343.


Norman LaFrance  MD, ME, FACP, FACNP

Chief Medical Officer, Senior VP Medical and Regulatory Affairs

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