Diagnosis of orthopedic infection in clinical practice using Tc-99m sulesomab (antigranulocyte monoclonal antibody fragment Fab'2)

Clin Nucl Med. 2004 Dec;29(12):781-5. doi: 10.1097/00003072-200412000-00001.


Objective: The aim of the study was to analyze the use of Tc-99m-labeled antigranulocyte monoclonal antibody fragment Fab'2 (SMab, Leukoscan) in the diagnosis of acute osteomyelitis and articular prosthesis infection. One hundred seventeen patients (118 studies) have been included, 92 women and 25 men. Thirty-seven had a suspicion of osteomyelitis and 81 with suspicion of infection of a hip (35 patients) or a knee (45 patients) prosthesis. The mean age was 64 years. A 3-phase bone scan and a SMab scan were obtained in all patients. Antigranulocyte scans were obtained within 3 and 8 hours postinjection of 20 mCi (740 MBq) of Tc-99m-labeled antibody. Diagnosis of infection was based on bone biopsy in 8 cases and on at least 2 positive cultures in the remaining cases. Infection was ruled out with negative cultures or 1-year patient follow up with negative C-reactive protein and normal erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

Results: Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and negative predictive value of Tc 99m-SMab scintigraphy were: 75%, 95%, 87%, and 92% for long bone osteomyelitis and 80%, 89%, 87%, and 91% for articular prosthesis infection, respectively. Positive predictive values were 83% and 63%, respectively.

Conclusion: Tc-99m-antigranulocyte monoclonal antibody fragment Fab'2 scintigraphy seems to be a useful method in the diagnosis of osteoarticular infection.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Female
  • Hip Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Knee Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteomyelitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Osteomyelitis / etiology*
  • Osteomyelitis / pathology
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / pathology
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technetium


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Sulesomab
  • Technetium