Role of scintigraphy in focally abnormal sonograms of fatty livers

J Nucl Med. 1988 Jun;29(6):1050-6.


Fatty infiltration of the liver may cause a range of focal abnormalities on hepatic sonography which may simulate hepatic nodular lesions. Discrete deposits of fat or islands of normal tissue which are uninvolved by fatty infiltration may stand out as potential space-occupying lesions on the sonograms. Twelve patients with such focally abnormal ultrasound images were referred for liver scintigraphy with 133Xe and 99mTc colloidal SPECT studies to clarify the issue. These examinations helped identify, in nine of 12 patients, the innocent nature of the sonographic abnormalities which were simply related to the fat deposition process. Further, [99mTc]RBC scans defined the additional pathologic process in three patients in whom actual space-occupying lesions were indeed present in the liver. Scintigraphy has an important role to play in the understanding of focal hepatic ultrasound abnormalities particularly in unsuspected hepatic steatosis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Erythrocytes
  • Fatty Liver / diagnosis*
  • Fatty Liver / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Hemangioma / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Liver / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Technetium
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • Ultrasonography*
  • Xenon Radioisotopes


  • Xenon Radioisotopes
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid
  • Technetium