The bone scan is sensitive in detection of active bone/joint lesions. A normal bone scan virtually excludes the presence of an inflammatory process with high precision, but the poor specificity of bone scans is well known. In recent years, various new agents including 99Tcm-hexamethylpropylene amine oxime (HMPAO)-labelled white blood cells, nanocolloid, polyclonal IgG, anti-granulocyte antibody, 111In-labelled IgG, leucocytes, chemotactic peptides etc. have been widely evaluated in inflammatory imaging, especially in the orthopaedic context. This study was undertaken to compare the usefulness of 99Tcm-nanocolloid and 99Tcm-polyclonal IgG in the detection of focal bone/joint inflammation. Twenty-seven patients with a common presentation of bone/joint pain resulting from various pathologies were included in the study. A total of 47 lesions were imaged. The overall sensitivity and specificity of both nanocolloid scan and IgG scan were identical with 95% sensitivity and 100% specificity, in detecting inflammatory foci. However, specificity dropped to 18% with nanocolloid scans and 16% with IgG scans when an attempt was made to distinguish noninfective from infective inflammatory processes; thus neither type of scan permits differentiation between septic and nonseptic inflammatory processes with sufficient accuracy. As both nanocolloid and IgG scans are equally sensitive and specific in detecting inflammation, the choice of type of scan will depend on cost, imaging time and availability of the radiopharmaceutical.