Optimal utilization of gamma camera time in Tc-99m MDP bone scintigraphy
Thesis (MScMedSc (Medical Imaging and Clinical Oncology. Nuclear Medicine))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.
Introduction: Whole body bone scintigraphy with Tc-99m MDP is able to provide a survey of the entire skeleton. The question arises if it is mandatory to perform a whole body bone scan in all patients, irrespective of the clinical indication. The aim of this study is to determine the implications of performing limited imaging in patients who had whole body bone scan for various clinical patholgy with Tc-99m MDP, in order to determine if limited imaging would be acceptable in selected pathologies. This may enable gamma camera time to be optimally utilized in units with limited facilities. Materials and Methods: Reports of 3015 patients with various clinical pathologies who had whole body bone scans with Tc-99m MDP in our department from January 2002 to December 2004 were retrospectively reviewed. The presence of pathologic radiotracer uptake was analyzed in order to establish the pattern of distribution. Clinically significant skeletal lesions were classified according to the anatomical regions where they were located viz; skull (including the neck), axial skeleton (including the pelvis and shoulders) and limbs. Results: Our results showed that in patients with lung cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, and myeloma, there was an error in more than 25% of patients when limited imaging was performed. In patients with cancer of the breast, prostate, kidney, gastrointestinal system, and reproductive system and lymphoma there is an error in less than 5% of patients when limited imaging is employed. For iv patients with more localized musculoskeletal disorders such as suspected stress fractures, complicated joint prosthesis and avascular necrosis of the femur head, regional imaging of the area of pathology showed a percentage error of less than 6%.