What is the role of radioisotope scanning in the diagnosis of abdominal abscess?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Alan A Saber, MD, MS, FACS, FASMBS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Scans using radioactive agents, such as leukocytes labeled or tagged with gallium-67 or indium-111, may localize the area of inflammation. Such scans are time consuming, and they have a substantial false-positive rate resulting from nonpyogenic inflammatory conditions, bowel accumulation of tagged leukocytes, surgical drains, and incisions.

Typically, radioisotope scans provide no pertinent information that is not found with CT. The disadvantages of these scans limit their use to cases in which intra-abdominal abscesses are strongly suspected in a patient but ultrasonography or CT has failed to provide adequate diagnostic information.

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