99mTc-white cell scanning to detect gut inflammation in children with inflammatory bowel diseases or spondyloarthropathies

A. Barabino, M. Gattorno, M. Cabria, M. P. Sormani, M. Occhi, G. Villavecchia, P. Gandullia, A. Buoncompagni, E. Castellano, P. Picco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Gut inflammation is a common feature shared by inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and the spondyloarthropathies (SpA). The aim of the present study was to compare the reliability of a number of non-invasive investigations for the detection of an inflammatory process of the intestine. Methods: Forty-two children were studied: (i) patients with a previous diagnosis of IBD (group A); (ii) patients with suspected IBD (group B); and (iii) patients with predominantly rheumatological manifestations associated with gastrointestinal symptoms (group C). All the patients were studied using 99mTechnetium-HMPAO labelled white cell scanning (99mTc-WCS), and abdominal ultrasound (US). In addition the ESR, serum class A immunoglobulins, faecal occult blood (OB) and faecal α1-antitripsin level (Fα1-AT) were determined. Colonoscopy plus multiple biopsies and radiological study of the intestine were used as gold standards. Results: 99mTc-WCS showed the highest sensitivity (85%) and specificity (100%) in detecting the presence of gut inflammation. This was followed by ESR and faecal occult blood (63% sensitivity, 44% specificity), Fα1-AT (43% sensitivity, 44% specificity) and IgA (42% sensitivity, 88% specificity). Ultrasound was informative in 28% of the active/affected patients, with a specificity of 75%. Conclusion: Although ileo-pancolonscopy remains the gold standard for the histological characterisation of gut inflammation, 99mTc- WCS represents the most reliable non-invasive test for its detection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-334
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Gut inflammation
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Juvenile spondyloarthropathy
  • Scintigraphy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Rheumatology


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