99mTechnetium-labelled red blood cell scintigraphy as an alternative to angiography in the investigation of gastrointestinal bleeding: clinical experience in a district general hospital

Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 1992 May;74(3):192-9.


99mTechnetium-labelled red blood cell scintigraphy (99mTc RBC scintigraphy) was used as the second-line investigation to localise bleeding in 23 patients (11 male, 12 female; mean age 67 years) presenting with active bleeding per rectum. Scintigraphy was available on a 24 h basis. A total of 18 patients had positive scans (78%). Surgery was performed urgently in 11 patients and the site of bleeding, as predicted by scintigraphy, was confirmed in 9 (82%). 99mTc RBC scintigraphy was less useful in patients who were not bleeding actively or who were being investigated for chronic anaemia. This study suggests that 99mTc RBC scintigraphy can play a useful role in the preoperative localisation of unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding in hospitals with nuclear medicine facilities, but confirms it has little place in the management of patients unless they are bleeding actively.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anemia, Hypochromic / etiology
  • Cecal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Colonic Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Erythrocytes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / complications
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m


  • Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m