European Journal of Nuclear Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 159–164 | Cite as

Significance of a hot spot on the bone scan after carpal injury —evaluation by computed tomography

  • Monique M. C. Tiel-van Buul
  • Edwin J. R. van Beek
  • Piet F. Dijkstra
  • Ad J. Bakker
  • Tom H. Broekhuizen
  • Eric A. van Royen
Original Article


The use of bone scintigraphy in patients with negative radiographs after carpal injury is widely advocated. However, focally increased activity on the bone scan in the scaphoid or other carpal bones cannot always be radiologically confirmed as a fracture. To confirm scintigraphically suspected carpal fractures, computed tomography (CT) of the wrist was performed in patients with clinically suspected scaphoid fracture and initially negative radiographs. All patients underwent plain radiography, bone scintigraphy and CT. The combination of plain radiographs and CT, as judged by a panel of experienced observers, was used as the reference standard. In 18 patients, 21 out of 22 carpal hot spots on bone scintigraphy could be radiologically confirmed as a fracture. The diagnosis was missed by CT scan in three patients with proven fractures on plain radiographs. We conclude that, in patients with negative initial radiographs following carpal injury, a positive bone scan must be interpreted as a fracture.

Key words

Bone scintigraphy Carpal fractures 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monique M. C. Tiel-van Buul
    • 1
  • Edwin J. R. van Beek
    • 1
  • Piet F. Dijkstra
    • 3
  • Ad J. Bakker
    • 3
  • Tom H. Broekhuizen
    • 2
  • Eric A. van Royen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Academic Medical CentreUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Academic Medical CentreUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Academic Medical CentreUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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