What is the role of radionuclide scanning in the diagnosis of diskitis?

Updated: May 13, 2020
  • Author: Alvin Marcovici, MD; Chief Editor: Jeffrey A Goldstein, MD  more...
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Answer

Gallium-67 and technetium-99m have been utilized in the detection of diskitis with similar results. Radionuclide scanning has demonstrated a high degree of sensitivity shortly after the onset of symptoms. Diffuse initial uptake is followed by more focal uptake on delayed scans. Technetium-99m has been recommended more often because of its lower cost and smaller radiation dose.

Because of the availability and sensitivity of other tests, radionuclide scans may be most useful in the workup of patients with fever of unknown origin.

Indium-111 WBC scintigraphy has been shown to have a low sensitivity for diskitis and is not the test of choice.

Bone scans are not specific for infection over inflammation; therefore, they are ineffective in postoperative patients.


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