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Keywords:

  • contrast agent intolerance;
  • emission computed tomography;
  • hyperthyroidism;
  • liver hemangioma;
  • 99mTc-blood pool

ABSTRACT— This paper reports the results of a prospective study carried out to demonstrate the most important advantages of 99mTc-blood pool single emission computed tomography (SPECT) versus the established method of planar scintigraphy (PS) in the non-invasive diagnosis of liver hemangiomas. The study group comprised 40 patients in whom positive evidence of 56 hemangiomas, detected incidentally in the course of screening examinations, was established via SPECT and PS. The sensitivity of SPECT was 51/56 (91%), of PS 22/56 (39.3%); for lesions smaller than 30 mm in diameter, the sensitivity of SPECT was 31/38 (81.6%), of PS 6/38 (15.8%). All lesions with diameters of more than 30 mm were detected by both PS and SPECT. However, the SPECT method proved to be clearly superior in the identification of lesions which were smaller than 30 mm and located in unfavourable topographical sites (dorsal or subphrenic). The study proves that SPECT with 99mTc-labeled erythrocytes is the ideal complement to ultrasonography in the detection of liver hemangionas; its major advantage over TCT (transmission computed tomography) is its safe application in cases with contrast agent intolerance and hyperthyroid patients. Moreover, liver biopsies are dangerous and ill-suited for the verification of diagnosis.