Joint scintigraphy for quantification of synovitis with 99mTc-labelled human immunoglobulin G compared to histological examination

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 1995 Mar-Apr;13(2):155-9.


Objective: This study addressed the following questions: How does 99mTc-IgG scintigraphy compare to physical examination in the detection of synovitis as determined histologically, and is 99mTc-IgG scintigraphy a sensitive detector of histologically documented synovitis activity in the absence of clinically detectable knee joint swelling?

Methods: The results of measuring synovitis activity by physical examination and by scintigraphy with technetium-99m labelled polyclonal human immunoglobulin G (99mTc-IgG) were compared with the results of histological examination of synovial biopsies taken from the knee joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (n = 21), osteoarthritis (n = 9) and various other rheumatic diseases (n = 10).

Results: The sensitivity of 99mTc-IgG scintigraphy in detecting synovitis activity, as determined histologically (85%), was higher than the sensitivity of joint swelling (65%). In the absence of clinically detectable knee joint swelling the sensitivity of 99mTc-IgG scintigraphy was 83%.

Conclusion: This study shows that 99mTc-IgG scintigraphy is a more sensitive method than physical examination in detecting histologically documented synovitis activity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Edema / diagnostic imaging
  • Edema / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G*
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Knee Joint / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organotechnetium Compounds*
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Synovitis / diagnosis
  • Synovitis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Synovitis / pathology*


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • technetium TC 99m polyclonal IgG