Introduction: The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of technetium-99m (Tc-99m) ciprofloxacin in imaging inflammation/infection. The ciprofloxacin for labelling, as a kit, was obtained from St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.Materials and Methods: Patients were injected intravenously with Tc-99m ciprofloxacin and imaging was done at 10 minutes, 4 hours and 24 hours if necessary. Tomographic images (SPECT) were obtained in a few patients. Ninety-six patients were studied using Tc-99m ciprofloxacin. Forty-eight patients had bone scans and 22 had Tc-99m IgG scans. Eight patients were imaged using Tc-99m HMPAO labelled white blood cell, and bacteriological culture results were available in 24 patients. Organisms cultured included Acinetobacter baumanii, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, Blastococidia, Methicillin-resistant S. aureus, Salmonella and Candida. Results: Findings were evaluated against microbiology, alternative imaging modalities and clinical outcome. There were 47 true positives, 33 true negatives, 5 false positives and 11 false negatives, giving a sensitivity of 81% and specificity of 87%. The positive and negative predictive values were 90% and 75%, respectively. There were no side effects and the scan was particularly useful in the evaluation of painful joint prosthesis to exclude infection. Repeat studies on 8 patients given antibiotics over a long period were very useful in deciding on termination of the antibiotic treatment.
Over the past 10 years we have used various radiopharmaceuticals (RPCs) for imaging of inflammation and infection. These include gallium-67 citrate and the technetium-99m labelled nanocolloids, immunoglobulin (IgG), antigranulocyte antibodies (AGAB) and HMPAO-labelled leukocytes.
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