Inflammation: imaging with Tc-99m HMPAO-labeled leukocytes

Radiology. 1988 Mar;166(3):767-72. doi: 10.1148/radiology.166.3.3340775.


Leukocytes labeled with technetium-99m hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime (HMPAO) were used in 100 patients: 32 with suspected inflammatory bowel disease, 17 with fever of unknown origin, 21 with suspected abdominal sepsis, 20 with suspected bone sepsis, seven with bronchiectasis, and three with recent myocardial infarction. The distribution of activity in patients subsequently shown not to have inflammatory bowel disease was similar to that previously described for indium-111-labeled leukocytes. However, in this study, activity was also seen in the kidneys and bladder and occasionally the gallbladder on both early (1-3 hours) and late (24 hours) views, and in the colon in late views. Migration of Tc-99m-labeled granulocytes was seen in inflammatory disease as early as 30 minutes after injection, while normal bowel activity was not seen before 4 hours. The sensitivity of Tc99m-labeled leukocytes in the detection of inflammation was 100%, the specificity was 95%.

MeSH terms

  • Colitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Crohn Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Fever of Unknown Origin / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / diagnostic imaging*
  • Leukocytes*
  • Organometallic Compounds*
  • Osteitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Oximes*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime
  • Technetium*


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