IJCM  Vol.3 No.2 , March 2012
Rethinking an Algorithm: The Utility of the Techinicium 99 m Labeled Red Cell (RBC) Scanning for Lower Gastrointestinal Bleeding (LGIB)
Purpose: Technetium 99 m (99 m Tc) labeled scan is often done to localize bleeding to facilitate treatment. No level 1 or 2 data supports this approach. The aim of this study was to determine the correlation between site of bleeding by nuclear scan and findings at surgery, angiogram or colonoscopy. Methods: Records of patients admitted to Cooper University Hospital from January 2001-December 2005 with LGIB who had 99mTc scan were analyzed. Results: 164 of 170 patients were eligible to be evaluated. There were 45 positive (27.5%) and 119 negative scans (72.5%). 21 of 45 patients with positive scans had angiography. 7 patients (33.3%) had positive and 14 (66.6%) negative angiograms. In 6 patients (85.7%) with (+) angiograms, there was correlation on the area of bleed as seen on the 99 m Tc scan (p = 0.125). 20 patients, in the positive scan group, required surgery. In 15 (75%) the findings at surgery correlated with the scan result (p = 0.04). 31 patients (68.8%) with positive scan had colonoscopy. There was correlation in 27 patients (87.0%) (p < 0.001). The patients with (+) scan received a total of 372 (8.2 per patient) transfusions of packed red blood cells (PRBC) compared to 333 (2.7 per patients) transfusions in patients with (–) scans. Surgeons documented in 7 patients that the result of scan influenced surgery. Patients with (+) and (–) scans had similar rates of colonoscopy (73.35% vs 76.4%), hospital length of stay (14.3 vs 12.10 days), while mortality rate was (8.8% vs 6.72%) respectively, Conclusion: 99 m Tc scan has low yield in the evaluation of LGIB. However when positive, they tend to correlate with findings at angiogram, surgery and colonoscopy.

Cite this paper
S. R. S. Mok, C. Ojiako, A. Kalra, M. Gajera and S. Sujanthy Rajaram, "Rethinking an Algorithm: The Utility of the Techinicium 99 m Labeled Red Cell (RBC) Scanning for Lower Gastrointestinal Bleeding (LGIB)," International Journal of Clinical Medicine, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2012, pp. 110-114. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2012.32023.
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