111 In-labeled leukocytes in the detection of prosthetic vascular graft infections

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1986 Jul;147(1):173-6. doi: 10.2214/ajr.147.1.173.


Making a clinical diagnosis of infection in prosthetic vascular grafts is difficult but when undiagnosed, this condition has a high mortality rate. Using Indium-111-labeled white-blood cells, 30 scans were performed in 21 patients suspected of having a prosthetic graft infection. The diagnosis of infected graft was confirmed by surgery in all cases, and lack of infection was established by resolution of symptoms with conservative therapy. Twenty-four hour scans of autologous Indium-111 leukocytes were obtained, and correlative CT studies were done in 11 cases. There were 13 infected grafts at surgery (purulent material present), and scans were positive in all (100% sensitivity); of 17 scans, there were 15 true negatives and two false positives (88% specificity). Using the criteria of gas or fluid around the graft, the sensitivity of CT was only 37% in a small subset of these patients. One-half of the cases in which infection was suspected clinically had no infection and had negative scans. Various types of grafts and graft materials were used, and there was no correlation with presence or absence of infection on the basis of the type of graft. Extragraft infection sites were found in five patients. In conclusion, use of Indium-111 leukocytes has been found to be an accurate and valuable diagnostic method for evaluation of suspected prosthetic vascular graft infection, and to have higher diagnostic accuracy than CT.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Indium*
  • Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Leukocytes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radioisotopes*
  • Radionuclide Imaging


  • Radioisotopes
  • Indium