Abdominal varices mimicking an acute gastrointestinal hemorrhage during technetium-99m red blood cell scintigraphy

Clin Nucl Med. 1985 Apr;10(4):248-51. doi: 10.1097/00003072-198504000-00004.


Abdominal varices consisting of a caput medusae and dilated mesenteric veins resulted in pooling of Tc-99m tagged red blood cells (RBC) within these dilated vessels in a 57-year-old man with severe Laennec's cirrhosis. The atypical radiotracer localization within the abdomen mimicked an acute gastrointestinal hemorrhage. Clinical suspicion and careful evaluation of scintigraphic gastrointestinal bleeding studies will avoid false-positive interpretations.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Erythrocytes*
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / diagnostic imaging*
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / etiology
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Technetium*


  • Technetium