The estimation of organ residence time is essential for high‐dose myeloablative regimens in radioimmunotherapy (RIT). Frequently, this estimation is based on a series of simple planar scans and planar processing. The authors previously performed a simulation study which demonstrated that the accuracy of this methodology is limited compared to a hybrid planar/SPECT residence time estimation method. In this work the authors applied this hybrid method to data from a clinical trial of high‐dose myeloablative yttrium‐90 ibritumomab tiuxetan therapy. Image data acquired from 18 patients were comprised of planar scans at five time points ranging from 1 to 144 h postinjection and abdominal and thoracic SPECT/CT scans obtained at 24 h postinjection. The simple planar processing method used in this work was based on the geometric mean method with energy window based scatter compensation. No explicit background subtraction nor object or source thickness corrections were performed. The SPECT projections were reconstructed using iterative reconstruction with compensations for attenuation, scatter, and full collimator‐detector response. Large differences were observed when residence times were estimated using the simple planar method compared to the hybrid method. The differences were not constant but varied in magnitude and sign. For the dose‐limiting organ (liver), the average difference was −18% and variation in the difference was 19%, similar to the differences observed in a previously reported simulation study. The authors also looked at the relationship between the weight of the patient and the liver residence time and found that there was no meaningful correlation for either method. This indicates that weight would not be an adequate proxy for an experimental estimate of residence time when choosing the activity to administer for therapy. The authors conclude that methods such as the simple planar method used here are inadequate for RIT treatment planning. More sophisticated methods, such as the hybrid SPECT/planar method investigated here, are likely to be better predictors of organ dose and, as a result, organ toxicities.