Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is one of the major health problems of women of child-bearing age. Among the most serious complications of PID is the formation of a tubo-ovarian abscess (TOA). Early diagnosis of this condition may prevent serious surgical complications such as peritonitis and sepsis, which may be fatal. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of technetium-99m hexamethylpropylene amine oxime (HMPAO) leucocyte scintigraphy in the diagnosis of TOA. Twenty women with high clinical suspicion of TOA underwent 99mTc-HMPAO leucocyte scintigraphy. The labelling of leucocytes with 99mTc-HMPAO was performed according to a standard protocol. Scans were obtained at 1, 3 and 24 h following the injection of the labelled leucocytes. In eight cases the early and/or late scan was positive, in 11 cases it was negative, and in one case of ovarian cyst torsion, confirmed by laparoscopy, it showed slight uptake in the capsule of the cyst (false-positive). The sensitivity of 99mTc-HMPAO leucocyte scintigraphy was 100%, specificity 91.6%, positive predictive value 89%, negative predictive value 100% and overall accuracy 95%. It is concluded that leucocyte scintigraphy is a non-invasive, safe, physiological and accurate procedure for the diagnosis of TOA. The 24-h scan is crucial, since in some cases the abscess was not clearly visualized on the early scan. Leucocyte scintigraphy may reduce the need for CT, diagnostic laparoscopy and unnecessary invasive surgical procedures.
- In vivo diagnostic procedure
- Nuclear imaging
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Tc-HMPAO leucocyte scintigraphy
- Tubo-ovarian abscess