Extended combined 99mTc-white blood cell and bone imaging improves the diagnostic accuracy in the detection of hip replacement infections
- 102 Downloads
Although the diagnosis of hip prosthesis infection is clinically important, X-ray studies, blood chemistry and synovial fluid aspiration may be unreliable for this purpose. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether extending the time for technetium-99m labelled leucocyte imaging to 24 h post injection improves the accuracy of diagnosis of hip replacement infections. We studied 64 symptomatic patients with hip prostheses. The presence of infections was verified by intraoperative bacterial cultures, and infection was excluded either by negative operative findings or by follow-up for at least 1 year. Leucocyte imaging was done with 99mTc-hexamethylpropylene amine oxime (HMPAO)-labelled leucocytes at 2–4 h (routine images) and at 24 h (late images) after the injection of the leucocytes. In addition, bone imaging was carried out with 99mTc-hydroxydiphosphonate (HDP) at the arterial, soft tissue and metabolic phases. A standardised method was used to compare leucocyte images with bone metabolic images. In this material, there were six confirmed infections. All the bone imaging methods had a sensitivity of 100% in detecting prosthesis infections whereas the specificity varied from only 2% to 82%. Routine leucocyte imaging was less sensitive (50% vs 83%) and less specific (90% vs 100%) than late leucocyte imaging. All tests had a high negative predictive value for excluding infection (95%–100%). However, both bone (10%–38%) and routine leucocyte imaging (33%) showed a poor positive predictive value (PPV), whereas late leucocyte imaging had a PPV of 100% and a diagnostic accuracy of 98%. We conclude that late leucocyte imaging improves the specificity of diagnosis of infected hip prostheses. This type of imaging procedure should be combined with three-phase bone scintigraphy in studies of patients with painful joint replacement.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.