Gallium-67 scan for distinguishing follicular hyperplasia from other AIDS-associated diseases in lymph nodes

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We have studied gallium-67 citrate scan (Ga-67) in the diagnosis of lymphadenopathy in patients with HIV-associated symptoms. Thirty HIV-infected patients with lymphadenopathy, fever and/or weight loss were evaluated with Ga-67. Lymph-node biopsy and/or needle aspirations were done in all patients. Twelve of 17 patients with grade 2 or 3 Ga-67 (uptake equal to or greater than that in the liver) had mycobacteriosis, three had lymphoma, one had Kaposi's sarcoma plus Castleman's disease and one had follicular hyperplasia. The three patients with grade 1 Ga-67 (uptake greater than that in soft tissue but less than that in the liver) had follicular hyperplasia. Of the 10 patients with grade 0 Ga-67 (less than or equal to that in soft tissue), nine had follicular hyperplasia and one had Kaposi's sarcoma. Sixteen of 17 patients with grade 2 or 3 Ga-67 versus one of 13 with Ga-67 grade 1 or 0 had diseases other than follicular hyperplasia (P < 0.0001). Ga-67 may be a practical diagnostic tool in HIV-infected patients with lymphadenopathy and constitutional symptoms. A grade 1 or 0 Ga-67 suggests the presence of follicular hyperplasia, and lymph-node biopsy may be avoided unless Kaposi's sarcoma is suspected.

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