When technetium-99m DTPA is used to measure glomerular filtration rate (GFR), the accuracy depends on the supplier of the radiopharmaceutical. The error in GFR is due to protein binding, as we have shown by direct measurement. In 19 patients, GFR measured with Tc-DTPA and corrected for protein binding agreed with that measured simultaneously using Yb-169 DTPA (correlation coefficient 0.991). Without correction, Tc-DTPA gave falsely low values in patients having good renal function, in whom unbound activity cleared rapidly while bound activity remained in the circulation. When Tc-DTPA is used to measure GFR, the in vivo protein binding should be measured and used to correct the data.