Liver scintigraphy

The conventional liver scintigram is performed after IV administration of 50-100 MBq of 99mTc-labelled colloidal particles varying in size from 0.3-1.0 mm. The radioactive agent accumulates in the cells of the reticulo-endothelial system by phagocytosis. The reticulo-endothelial system cells are homogeneously distributed in the liver and spleen, and to a lesser extent in bone, marrow, and lungs.

The most common indication for liver scintigraphy used to be the detection of space-occupying lesions. Nowadays, ultrasonography and CT are generally considered to be more effective modalities than scintigraphy.

The solitary non-cystic lesion may pose a clinical problem. Non-invasive differentiation between haemangioma and metastasis or between hepatoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, follicular nodular hyperplasia, and metastasis is important for the clinical management of the patient. Scintigraphic studies with 99mTc-labelled erythrocytes, iminodiacetic acids (IDA), or with 67Ga can be used as non-invasive methods for a more specific characterization of the tumour in addition to colloid scintigraphy.

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