Diagnosis of bone and joint infection by leucocyte scintigraphy. A comparative study with 99mTc-HMPAO-labelled leucocytes, 99mTc-labelled antigranulocyte antibodies and 99mTc-labelled nanocolloid

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 1990;110(1):26-32. doi: 10.1007/BF00431362.


Fifty-five patients with 60 suspected infections of bones or joints were studied with 99mTc-hexamethylpropyleneaminooxine- (HMPAO-) labelled leucocytes and 99mTc-labelled antigranulocyte antibodies, in part supplemented with 99mTc-labelled nanocolloid. The findings using the different procedures were in good agreement. Apart from in vertebral lesions, a negative scan--even if the radionuclide bone scan is positive--excludes an infection with high probability (sensitivity 94%). The low specificity (57%) is due to positive imaging of various non-infected lesions. Spondylitis usually shows as non-specific cold lesions. A subtraction technique with computer assisted analysis of HMPAO and nanocolloid scans provides a more precise diagnosis of this condition.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies / analysis
  • Arthritis, Infectious / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arthritis, Infectious / epidemiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Granulocytes / immunology
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Osteomyelitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Osteomyelitis / epidemiology
  • Oximes
  • Radiography
  • Radionuclide Imaging / methods*
  • Radionuclide Imaging / standards
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime


  • Antibodies
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Oximes
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime