Clinical applications of technetium Tc 99m hexamethyl propylene amine oxime leukocyte scan in children with inflammatory bowel disease

Marian A. Del Rosario, Joseph F. Fitzgerald, Aslam R. Siddiqui, Sonny K. Chong, Joseph M. Croffie, Sandeep K. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Background: Labeled leukocyte imaging is a helpful diagnostic tool in the detection of inflammation and sepsis. The technetium TC 99m hexamethyl propylene amine oxime ((99m)Tc HMPAO)-labeled leukocyte scan has been found to be more sensitive than the Indium-111 labeled leukocyte scan in detecting inflammatory bowel disease, with reported sensitivities of 95% to 100%. Experience with the (99m)TC HMPAO-labeled leukocyte scan was examined and its clinical applications evaluated in the immediate treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Methods: A retrospective chart review was undertaken that included pediatric patients who underwent (99m)Tc HMPAO- labeled leukocyte scan at the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children. The disease activity of patients with inflammatory bowel disease was assessed. The leukocyte scan was performed according to the manufacturer's specifications, and images were obtained 30 minutes and 2 hours after administration of the radiopharmaceutical. Results: During the period of July 1996 through November 1997, 41 scans were performed in 35 patients. Twenty- nine patients had histologically proven inflammatory bowel disease: 24 with Crohn's disease, 4 with ulcerative colitis, and 1 with indeterminate colitis. Active inflammatory bowel disease was suspected in 24 patients when the leukocyte scan was performed. Twenty of the 24 patients (83% sensitivity) had abnormal findings in leukocyte scans that prompted more aggressive management in 15 (75%). Six of the 15 who were receiving maximum medical therapy underwent surgical resection of severely affected bowel segments, and medical treatment was intensified in the other 9. The remaining 5 patients were receiving optimal medical therapy, instituted at their recent visit, and did not require further medication adjustments. Four of the 24 patients with active inflammatory bowel disease had normal leukocyte scans (17% false- negative rate), 3 of whom were receiving corticosteroid therapy at the time the scans were performed. All of the 11 patients in whom inflammatory bowel disease was in remission and 6 patients who did not have inflammatory bowel disease had normal findings in leukocyte scans (100% specificity). Conclusions: Although a tissue diagnosis is still recommended, obtained during upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopic examinations, and contrast radiography of the small bowel for the initial work-up of patients with suspected inflammatory bowel disease, the (99m)Tc HMPAO-labeled leukocyte scan is a safe and useful diagnostic adjunct for subsequent evaluation of patients known to have inflammatory bowel disease. The results of (99m)Tc HMPAO-labeled leukocyte scans directly influenced treatment of 75% of the study patients with active inflammatory bowel disease, which included the decision to refer patients for surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Bowel inflammation
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Technetium Tc 99m hexamethyl propylene amine oxime leukocyte scan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Histology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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