Skeletal scintigraphy and quantitative tracer studies in metabolic bone disease

Fogelman, Ignac (1982) Skeletal scintigraphy and quantitative tracer studies in metabolic bone disease. MD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Bone scan imaging with the current bone seeking radiopharmaceuticals, the technetium-99m labelled diphosphonates, has dramatically improved our ability to evaluate skeletal pathology. In this thesis, chapter 1 presents a review of the history of bone scanning, summarises present concepts as to the mechanism of uptake of bone seeking agents and briefly illustrates the role of bone scanning in clinical practice. In chapter 2 the applications of bone scan imaging and quantitative tracer techniques derived from the bone scan in the detection of metabolic bone disease are discussed. Since skeletal uptake of Tc-99m diphosphonate depends upon skeletal metabolism one might expect that the bone scan would be of considerable value in the assessment of metabolic bone disease. However in these disorders the whole skeleton is often diffusely involved by the metabolic process and simple visual inspection of the scan image may not reveal the uniformly increased uptake of tracer. Certain patterns of bone scan abnormality have, however, been reported in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism and renal osteo-dystrophy; the present studies extend these observations and introduce the concept of "metabolic features" which are often recognisable in conditions with generalised increased bone turnover. As an aid to systematic recognition of these features on a given bone scan image a semi-quantitative scoring system, the metabolic index, was introduced. The metabolic index allowed differentiation between various groups of patients with metabolic disorders and a control population. In addition, in a bone scan study of patients with acromegaly, it was found that the metabolic index correlated well with disease activity as measured by serum growth hormone levels. The metabolic index was, however, found to be a relatively insensitive means of identifying disease in individual patients. Patients with increased bone turnover will have an absolute increase in skeletal uptake of tracer. As a means of quantitating this uptake the use of bone to soft-tissue ratios derived from the bone scan image by computer was critically evaluated. The technique was shown to be observer dependent and again found to be of limited value due to the large overlap of patient results with those from control subjects. In chapter 3 the use of bone scan imaging in metabolic bone disease has been compared with radiology. Despite the difficulties mentioned above the metabolic index was employed, and the bone scan found to be the more sensitive investigation in primary hyperparathyroidism, renal osteodystrophy and osteomalacia. In osteoporosis, however, the bone scan was often unable to identify disease and radiology remains the investigation of choice. In a further study comparing bone scanning and radiology in Paget's disease, the bone scan was found to be clearly the more sensitive investigation. As a result of the work described in chapter 2 it became apparent that a sensitive means of quantitating absolute bone uptake of tracer could be of diagnostic value. In chapter 4 a promising new quantitative technique is described in which the 24-hour whole-body retention of Tc-99m diphosphonate (WBR) is measured using a shadow-shield whole-body monitor. At 24 hours after injection, diphosphonate has reached a stable equilibrium in bone reflecting skeletal metabolic activity, while tracer in the soft-tissues of the body has been largely excreted via the urinary tract. It was found that this technique provided a sensitive means of detecting patients with primary hyperparathyroidism, osteomalacia, renal osteodystrophy and Paget's disease and that in these conditions all the results from individual patients lay outside the control range. In further studies the WBR technique was shown to be highly reproducible and not subject to any significant technical errors.

Item Type: Thesis (MD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: W R Greig
Keywords: Medical imaging, Medicine, Nuclear physics and radiation, Biophysics
Date of Award: 1982
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1982-73737
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56

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