What causes false-positive nuclear imaging results in ulcerative colitis (UC)?

Updated: Apr 23, 2019
  • Author: Ali Nawaz Khan, MBBS, FRCS, FRCP, FRCR; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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In-111-labeled WBCs accumulate nonspecifically at sites of inflammation or infection. The differential diagnosis for accumulation of 111In-labeled WBCs involving the abdomen most commonly includes Crohn disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, ischemic or infarcted bowel, phlegmon, and wound infection.

Factors that may lead to false-positive results include the swallowing of leukocytes, the use of enteric tubes, and the presence of a GI bleed. False-positive results may also occur as a result of the physiologic uptake of 99mTc-labeled WBCs; biliary and urinary excretion; and delayed normal bowel excretion.

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