Gallium-67 scintigraphy, bronchoalveolar lavage, and pathologic changes in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis

Chest. 1984 May;85(5):650-5. doi: 10.1378/chest.85.5.650.


The intensity of gallium-67 scintiscans, lymphocyte counts in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and pathologic changes were studied in 26 patients with untreated pulmonary sarcoidosis. Noncaseating granulomas were recognized with significantly greater frequency in stage 2 (80 percent; 8/10 cases) than in stage 1 (43 percent; 6/14 cases). Alveolitis showed little relation to the roentgenographic stage. There was a strong correlation between the intensity of gallium uptake in pulmonary parenchyma and the detection rate of granuloma; however, the detection rate of alveolitis was not statistically different from the intensity of gallium uptake. A highly significant correlation was revealed between the lymphocyte counts in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and the intensity of alveolitis. These observations suggest that the gallium uptake reflects mainly the presence of granuloma, and the lymphocyte count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid reflects the intensity of alveolitis in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Diseases / pathology
  • Lymphocytes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / blood
  • Radiography
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Sarcoidosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sarcoidosis / pathology
  • Therapeutic Irrigation*


  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A