White cell and marrow imaging: subtracting uncertainty

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A subtraction method for assessments of dual-isotope indium-111 (111In)-labelled white cell and 99mTc-nanocoll was proposed, and following a pilot study was introduced in routine service to improve the confidence of reporters. This technical note describes a simple technique to produce subtraction images from routinely acquired images to investigate and exclude post joint replacement infection. Labelled leucocytes (with 111In) show areas of increased white cell accumulation, whereas 99mTc-nanocoll images show bone marrow distribution. Images resulting from the subtraction protocol highlight any areas of white cell activity which is not concurrent with the marrow distribution indicative of infection. Fusion images produced from these images sets also assists in localization of white cell accumulation(s). Key to the success of this technique is the use of simultaneous acquisition of both white cell and marrow images; thus removing any issues with patient movement and/or repositioning. Reporting clinicians convey a clear preference for the inclusion of the subtracted and fused images at clinical review.

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