This retrospective study was done to determine the value of combined bone (technetium-99m methylene-diphosphonate) and gallium-67 citrate imaging in selected children with complicated clinical situations. Thirty-one children were evaluated for suspected osteomyelitis by bone scan followed within 4 days by a gallium scan. These 31 children represented a subpopulation in whom the Tc-99m scan is known to be potentially unreliable in diagnosing acute osteomyelitis. Eight children had acute osteomyelitis by strict criteria, while 23 did not. The bone scan successfully identified five of the eight with osteomyelitis but was positive in ten of the other 23. The gallium scan correctly identified all eight with osteomyelitis but was positive in seven of the other 23. The gallium scan was significantly less specific when the suspected lesion was in the extremities compared with central locations; causes of false-positive gallium scans included fracture and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Combined gallium and bone scanning increased accuracy of the scintigraphic diagnosis of acute osteomyelitis. Both tests may, however, be abnormal in conditions other than osteomyelitis. These findings emphasize the importance of correlating all imaging studies in detection of osteomyelitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging