Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Technetium-99m autologous phagocyte scanning: a new imaging technique for inflammatory bowel disease.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 19 July 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:171
  1. W Pullman,
  2. R Hanna,
  3. P Sullivan,
  4. J A Booth,
  5. F Lomas,
  6. W F Doe


    A method to determine the extent of active inflammatory bowel disease using selective labelling of autologous neutrophils and monocytes by phagocytosis of a technetium-99m (99mTc) stannous oxide colloid is described. Unlike leucocyte scanning techniques using Indium-III (IIIIn), the 99mTc colloid scan uses a cheap, readily available isotope, which specifically labels phagocytes. Scan results in 20 patients with inflammatory bowel disease were compared with barium examinations and colonoscopic appearances. There was close agreement in 15 of 20 patients as to the extent of mucosal disease. In four cases the scan showed more extensive disease than was suggested by barium examination. The scan showed terminal ileal Crohn's disease in three patients in whom the barium studies of the ileum had been reported as normal. In four patients with inactive disease and normal barium examinations no activity was seen on the scans. The 99mTc phagocyte scan is a sensitive, reliable means of determining the extent of active inflammatory bowel disease and can be used to quantify disease activity.