Nuclear medicine has proven to have a valuable role in the evaluation of osseous metallic implants, particularly with joint prostheses, but can assist with evaluation of other appliances as well. The nuclear arthrogram has become an invaluable adjunct to simultaneously performed radiographic contrast arthrography. This application has been best evaluated in what is one of the most common of orthopedic prosthesis problems, namely, loosening of total hip prostheses. Experience indicates that both sensitivity and specificity of loosening of the femoral component can be increased to over 90% through combined use of nuclear with radiographic contrast arthrography. Furthermore the combination of routine skeletal scintimaging with the nuclear arthrogram adds a significant dimension to precise localizing of the nuclear arthrographics agent In-111 chloride. Nuclear medicine also plays an important role in further evaluating the presence of infection associated with metallic implants with In-111 WBC preparations being superior to Ga-67 as the radio-pharmaceutical tracer. Infection has been detected with a sensitivity of 73% and a specificity of 93% in our series using combined In-111 WBC and simultaneous skeletal imaging with conventional Tc-99m MDP. Acute infections are more readily identifiable than chronic in association with prostheses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging