Natural history and distribution of bone and bone marrow infarction in sickle hemoglobinopathies

J Nucl Med. 2002 Jul;43(7):896-900.


Methods: Over a period of 11 y, 50 patients (22 males, 28 females; age range, 8 mo to 22 y) presenting with sickle cell-associated bone pain underwent 93 sequential examinations with 99mTc-sulfur colloid bone marrow scanning and 99mTc-diphosphonate bone scanning. Multiple examinations were performed on 21 patients. The number and distribution of total acute, healed, and nonhealed infarcts by location were recorded on a skeletal homunculus.

Results: For this population, the total number of sites of bone and bone marrow infarction was 464. Of these, 175 were classified as acute by clinical and scintigraphic findings. There were a total of 61 nonhealed sites and 162 healed sites.

Conclusion: Knowledge of the distribution and natural history of sites of bone and bone marrow infarction is of considerable clinical and diagnostic import in the ongoing evaluation and treatment of sickle hemoglobinopathies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bone Marrow / blood supply*
  • Bone and Bones / blood supply*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infarction / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate*
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid*
  • Wound Healing


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid
  • Technetium Tc 99m Medronate