Bis-ligand cobalt(II) complexes of four 3-hydroxy-4-pyridinone ligands with pendant carbohydrates were synthesized and examined for their potential as radiopharmaceuticals. Non-radioactive complexes were prepared on the macroscopic scale and characterized by elemental analysis, mass spectrometry, IR and UV/visible spectroscopy. Facile radiolabeling produced the 55Co complexes in high radiochemical yields (>95%). Identification of the radiolabeled compounds was accomplished by HPLC comparison with the corresponding non-radioactive complexes. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.