Human fibrinogen (HFB) was labeled with different radioactive labels (Technetium -99m and Iodine -125) in various ways. Characterization by chromatographic and electrophoretic methods did not show differences between the labeled and the nonlabeled proteins. The effect of the label and the labeling method on the adsorption behaviour of 99(m)Tc and 125I labeled HFB at a polystyrene surface was investigated. In all cases labeled HFB showed preferential adsorption as compared to nonlabeled HFB. The preferential adsorption was expressed in terms of a factor Φ, which will be 1, when no preferential adsorption occurs. 99(m)Tc - and 125I - HFB showed Φ values from 1.48 - 1.88. It is concluded that only meaningful adsorption experiments with labeled proteins can be performed when the possible occurrence of preferential adsorption has been investigated by appropriate methods. The results of prior work on protein adsorption at biomaterials using radiolabeled proteins have to be reconsidered.