What is the role of Gallium citrate Ga 67 scanning in the workup of malignant otitis externa (MEO)?

Updated: Apr 13, 2020
  • Author: Brian Nussenbaum, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Gallium citrate Ga 67 scan is very sensitive but is not specific because gallium binds to actively dividing cells, including inflammatory cells, tumor cells, and osteoblasts.

Uncertainty is possible regarding whether a positive test result represents an inflammatory condition, soft tissue, or bone disease.

This test is most helpful when used as a monitor of successful treatment. Improvement of a positive test result correlates with therapeutic response.

A baseline test is usually obtained at the initial diagnosis for comparison with follow-up studies during treatment.

A quantitative comparison of the lesion to the nonlesion side may improve the interpretation of these studies for distinguishing acute external otitis from malignant external otitis (MEO) and for determining the efficacy of therapy.

The application of SPECT technology has improved the poor spatial resolution traditionally associated with this test.

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