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Preoperative Indium-Labeled White Blood Cell Scintigraphy in Suspected Osteomyelitis of the Axial Skeleton

WUKICH, DANE K., MD*; VAN DAM, BRUCE E., MD*; ABREU, SUE H., MD

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The cases of six patients with suspected osteomyelitis of the axial skeleton who underwent preoperative indium-labeled white blood cell scintigraphy (In-WBC) were reviewed retrospectively. Five of these patients had undergone previous spinal surgery, and all six patients complained of back pain. Four of these six patients were proven to have osteomyelitis by culture and histopathology. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of In-WBC scintigraphy in detecting osteomyelitis of the axial skeleton was 25%, 50%, and 33%, respectively. Our preliminary experience in six patients with suspected osteomyelitis of the axial skeleton suggests that In-WBC scintigraphy is neither sensitive nor specific in predicting infection.

*Orthopaedic Surgery Service, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Nuclear Medicine Service, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.