Scintigraphic assessment of bowel involvement and disease activity in Crohn's disease using technetium 99m-hexamethyl propylene amine oxine as leukocyte label

Gastroenterology. 1988 Nov;95(5):1287-93. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(88)90363-0.


Using a novel labeling technique with technetium 99m-hexamethyl propylene amine oxine, we studied 29 patients with known or suspected Crohn's disease. Technetium 99m-hexamethyl propylene amine oxine leukocyte scanning (99mTc scan) was prospectively compared with the results of independently performed radiologic, endoscopic, and histologic examinations, and with findings at surgery, to assess the clinical usefulness of this technique to localize inflammatory lesions. In addition, uptake of technetium 99m-hexamethyl propylene amine oxine in the bowel was graded by comparing it with the uptake in liver and bone marrow and correlating this with established parameters of disease activity. The viability of homologous labeled leukocytes was greater than 95%. Less than 5% of lymphocytes were found in the final preparation. It was found that 45% +/- 12% of the label was bound to granulocytes, and 98% of the unbound label was washed off before reinjection. The results of 99mTc scan revealed a good correlation with those of barium enema (r = 0.880, p less than 0.001), of endoscopy/surgery (r = 0.983, p less than 0.001), and of all combined reference methods (r = 0.981, p less than 0.001). Activity as determined by 99mTc scan was weakly correlated with the results of Crohn's disease activity index (r = 0.559, p less than 0.01), van Hees index (r = 0.606, p less than 0.01), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (r = 0.456, p less than 0.05) in 24 patients with proven Crohn's disease. The correlation was improved when the 99mTc scan was compared with a combination of these activity parameters and C-reactive protein (r = 0.781, p less than 0.001). Extraintestinal manifestations (joints) and complications (cholecystitis) were also identified correctly by the 99mTc scan. The study demonstrates that leukocyte scanning with technetium 99m-hexamethyl propylene amine oxine as a label can reliably assess the location and, to a lesser degree, activity of Crohn's disease. This technique is more convenient and provides images far superior to those produced by indium 111-labeled leukocyte scanning.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Barium Sulfate
  • Colitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Colitis / physiopathology
  • Crohn Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Crohn Disease / physiopathology
  • Enema
  • Female
  • Granulocytes*
  • Humans
  • Ileitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Ileitis / physiopathology
  • Intestines / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intestines / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds*
  • Oximes*
  • Radiography
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime
  • Technetium*


  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Oximes
  • Barium Sulfate
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime
  • Technetium