The value of pinhole collimator scintigraphy in the diagnosis of intervertebral disk diseases

Van Heerden B.B. ; Prins M.J. (1989)

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Recent findings suggested a possible role for pinhole collimator scintigraphy to differentiate between metastases, infection and fractures of the vertebrae. The aim of this study was to verify these findings and to ascertain whether we could identify any other specific scintigraphic patterns. The study group consisted of 58 patients. A metastatic pattern was obtained in 18 patients, while 16 showed the compression fracture pattern, 3 the tuberculosis pattern and 1 the pyogenic infection pattern. The study was considered normal in 4 patients and showed a nonspecific pattern in 4. Sensitivity was 85% for the metastatic pattern and 83% for the compression fracture pattern. Specificity was 94% for both patterns. Unique new patterns were identified in Paget's disease and in degenerative disease of the vertebrae (12 patients). Pinhole scintigraphy of the vertebrae is a valuable aid for detecting specific diseases of the vertebrae. Our findings suggest a valuable new role for skeletal scintigraphy, improving the specificity and obviating, in most cases of vertebral disease, the need for additional investigations.

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