Radioisotopic methods are practical for clinical use because they do not require continuous intravenous infusion or urine collection. This obviously is of great advantage in infants and small children, in whom accurate urine collection is difficult, but the techniques apply to adults as well. The ability to determine individual kidney function is a major benefit. Accuracies of the radioisotopic techniques vary but generally are within clinically acceptable ranges. The need for accuracy and reproducibility can be balanced with the desire for speed and convenience when choosing among the different techniques. Methods that use plasma sampling provide greater accuracy and are recommended in cases of severe dysfunction, whereas methods such as Gates' camera method, which eliminates plasma samples, can be completed in minutes. Radioisotopic techniques are most useful in the ranges of mild to moderately decreased function, in which serum creatinine concentration is nondiagnostic, and although they are much less accurate at markedly low renal function levels, so is 24-hour creatinine clearance. In conclusion, radiopharmaceutical agents offer a wide array of possible techniques for simple, accurate, and noninvasive measurement of global as well as individual GFR and ERPF.