Use of technetium-99m sulfur colloid to evaluate changes in reticuloendothelial function in dogs with experimentally induced chronic biliary cirrhosis and portosystemic shunting

Am J Vet Res. 1995 May;56(5):688-93.


Technetium-99m sulfur colloid scintigraphy was used to study alterations of reticuloendothelial function in 7 dogs with experimentally induced biliary cirrhosis and portosystemic shunting. Scintigraphic studies were performed before and 6 weeks after common bile duct ligation. Radiocolloid plasma clearance rate was determined by measuring activity in plasma samples and by analyzing the rate of liver uptake on dynamic scintigraphic image sequences. Percentage of uptake in the liver, spleen, and lungs, as well as the ratio of hepatic-to-extrahepatic uptake, was determined from static equilibrium images. Relative to preoperative values, there were significant decreases in plasma clearance rate, percentage of liver uptake, and ratio of hepatic-to-extrahepatic uptake and significant increases in percentage of spleen and lung uptake on postoperative studies. The mechanism of technetium-99m-labeled sulfur colloid extraction by the liver is different from that of other radiocolloids; it does not require active phagocytosis or pinocytosis. Thus, liver uptake of this tracer principally reflects effective liver blood flow. Portosystemic shunting was documented in these dogs at the time of the postoperative radiocolloid scans, and we believed was responsible for the decrease in liver reticuloendothelial activity. Possible mechanisms for the increased splenic and pulmonary reticuloendothelial activities are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / physiopathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / veterinary*
  • Mononuclear Phagocyte System / physiopathology*
  • Portasystemic Shunt, Surgical / veterinary*
  • Radionuclide Imaging / methods
  • Radionuclide Imaging / veterinary
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid* / blood
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid* / pharmacokinetics
  • Time Factors


  • Technetium Tc 99m Sulfur Colloid