99m Tc-Sulfur Colloid Bone Marrow Scintigraphy in Diagnosis of Diffuse Pulmonary Extramedullary Hematopoiesis Secondary to Myelofibrosis

J Nucl Med Technol. 2018 Dec;46(4):368-372. doi: 10.2967/jnmt.118.210534. Epub 2018 Jun 8.


Our objective was to define the role of combined 99mTc-sulfur colloid bone marrow (SC BM) scintigraphy, SPECT or SPECT/CT, and chest CT in diagnosing diffuse pulmonary extramedullary hematopoiesis (PEMH) in patients with myelofibrosis. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 99mTc-SC BM scintigraphy scans performed at our institution for the diagnosis of diffuse PEMH, as well as accompanying chest CT and SPECT/CT imaging findings. Relevant clinical information, including respiratory manifestations, pulmonary hypertension, and subjective response to whole-lung radiation therapy, was also summarized. Results: Twenty-two myelofibrosis patients with 27 99mTc-SC BM scintigraphy scans were diagnosed with diffuse PEMH. In 21 patients (95%) with accompanying chest CT and SPECT/CT scans, the most common CT findings were ground-glass opacity, interstitial infiltration, and pleural effusion. Of 20 patients (91%) who underwent 2-dimensional echocardiography studies, 12 (55%) were diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. All 12 patients exhibited the aforementioned nonspecific CT imaging findings, with 8 (66%) of them presenting with respiratory symptoms, including dyspnea, shortness of breath, and cough. In the remaining 8 patients, without pulmonary hypertension, half had similar respiratory symptoms. Fourteen patients (64%) of this cohort received whole-lung radiation therapy, of whom 7 (50%) experienced symptom relief after therapy. Conclusion: Nonspecific respiratory symptoms should raise concern about pulmonary hypertension and diffuse PEMH in patients with advanced-stage myelofibrosis. Combined 99mTc-SC BM scintigraphy and SPECT/CT is a promising noninvasive imaging tool to diagnose this rare clinical entity.Key Words: hematology; respiratory; SPECT/CT; pulmonary hematopoiesis; Tc-99m sulfur colloid scintigraphy; myelofibrosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Marrow / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Hematopoiesis, Extramedullary*
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Primary Myelofibrosis / physiopathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid