White blood cell scintigraphy for differentiation of infection and aseptic loosening - A retrospective study of 76 painful hip prostheses

Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Acta Orthopaedica (Impact Factor: 2.45). 11/2007; 78(5):640-7. DOI: 10.1080/17453670710014338
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Diagnosis of an infected arthroplasty is often difficult. Fever, abnormal physical findings, radiographic changes, findings at bone scintigraphy, an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, CRP, and leucocytosis are not specific enough. We evaluated the diagnostic value of white blood cell scintigraphy.
We retrospectively reviewed 76 cases (66 patients) admitted for white blood cell scintigraphy with a clinical suspicion of infection in a hip prosthesis during the period 1995-2003. The leukocytes were labeled with (99m)Tc-HMPAO or with (111)In-oxin. Anterior and posterior views were taken of both hip joints at 3 different time points after injection: 1 h, 3 h, and 22 h. Infection was verified by means of bacteriological cultures, histopathological findings, intraoperative frozen sections, and follow-up (up to 3.5 years).
Of 76 scintigraphies, 51 were negative and 25 were positive. There were 81% true positive, 94% true negative, 6% false positive, and 19% false negative outcomes.
White blood cell scintigraphy with additional late imaging is an effective tool for differentiation between loosening and infection in painful hip arthroplasty.

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