The goal of bleeding scintigraphy is to localize the site of origin of a hemorrhage to within general regions of the large or small bowel. Activity is typically seen to extravasate from the blood pool into the lumen, and the collection of activity then moves on sequential images, as a result of the cathartic action of blood. Sometimes, bleeding studies show a stationary focus of activity without subsequent movement. It is generally assumed that these foci represent fixed structures, such as the urinary tract or prominent vasculature, rather than acute extravasation of labeled blood into the bowel. The authors report three cases in which repeated studies showed that fixed foci of activity were, in fact, related to gastrointestinal bleeding. In two instances, the fixed foci represented extravasated blood that, for unexplained reasons, did not move during the study. In an additional case, the fixed activity visualized was ultimately shown to be prominent varices, which were implicated in the bleeding. Recognition of these possibilities, and consideration of possible strategies to localize the bleeding site further, should facilitate optimal patient treatment.
From the Department of Nuclear Medicine,* Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York;
the Department of Radiology,† Division of Nuclear Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University, New York, New York;
and the PET Center,‡ Sifa Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
Received for publication June 19, 2001.
Accepted August 28, 2001.
Reprint requests: Leonard M. Freeman, Montefiore Medical Center, Department of Nuclear Medicine, 111 East 210th Street, Bronx, New York 10467. E-mail: Lfreeman@montefiore.org