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Clinical usefulness of technetium (Tc)-99m-mononuclear leukocytes in the imaging of infectious lesions

Nuclear medicine imaging of infection has two major indications: localization of a focus of infection in patients with fever of unknown origin; and the diagnosis of an infection in patients with localized symptoms, for example after surgery, when normal anatomy is absent or when metal implants prevent computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Here we present the use of Tc-99m-mononuclear leukocytes in the imaging of 29 patients with infectious lesions (27 in hip prothesis and two in lumbar spine). Autologous cells were labeled using a simple technique with stannous chloride and Tc-99m-mononuclear leukocytes, previously described by us. The labeled cells were administered (444 MBq) and scans were carried out 1, 3 and 24 hours after injection. There were two cases where scintigraphies were negative and the biopsies were positive for infectious hip. All remaining cases were positive, indicating infections were present. These results may determine the future of this challenging and fascinating field and the role of nuclear medicine in the management of patients with infection/inflammation.

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Gutfilen, B., Souza, S., Pessoa, M. et al. Clinical usefulness of technetium (Tc)-99m-mononuclear leukocytes in the imaging of infectious lesions. Crit Care 7, P61 (2003).

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  • Compute Tomography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Lumbar Spine
  • Emergency Medicine