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Dig Dis Sci. 2005 Feb;50(2):283-9.

Factors affecting the quantitative liver-spleen scan in normal individuals.

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Division of Gastroenterology/Liver Disease Program, Department of Medicine, University of California, Irvine/ UCI Medical Center, Orange, California 92868, USA.


The quantitative liver-spleen scan (QLSS) can estimate the functional hepatic mass and the organ volumes by precise measurement of sulfur colloid (SC) distribution. The normal range determined in prior studies was estimated from patients with absence of chronic liver disease in which intense fasting appeared to produce slightly abnormal values. This study was to determine the effect of fasting or fed status and colloid particle size on quantitative measurements from the QLSS in a small cohort of normal individuals. Twelve persons without any medical problems had QLSS taken twice, 2 weeks apart, one fasting and one postprandial. Patients were scanned after injection of 5-6 mCi of SC; six patients were given solution A (5- to 12-microm particle size) and six patients solution B (2- to 12-microm particle size). SPECT and planar analysis were performed. SC distribution of total counts between the liver and the spleen {[L/(L + S)]t ratio}, liver-spleen index (LSI), and liver-bone marrow index (LBI) were calculated. The perfused hepatic mass (PHM) is the average of the LSI and LBI. Spleen and liver volumes are expressed as milliliters per pound ideal body weight (IBW). Results showed that the liver and spleen volumes (solution B postprandial, 9.27 +/- 2.48 and 1.47 +/- 0.57 ml/lb IBW, respectively) and LBI were not affected by the type of SC solution or by ingestion status. L/(L + S) total and pixel count ratios were significantly higher for solution B and postprandial studies. [L/(L + S)]t, LSI, and PHM increased significantly (P < 0.05) from fasting to postprandial for solution A (0.71 +/- 0.13 vs 0.79 +/- 0.08, 80 +/- 14 vs 91 +/- 8, and 102 +/- 10 vs 106 +/- 8, respectively) and for solution B (0.81 +/- 0.05 vs 0.90 +/- 0.02, 86 +/- 4 vs 95 +/- 3, and 101 +/- 5 vs 110 +/- 3). Neither fasting nor postprandial LSI and PHM were significantly different between solution A and solution B. We conclude the following. (1) The QLSS functional indices in "true" normal patients fall within the previously reported normal range. (2) Calculated liver and spleen volumes are not altered by fasting or sulfur colloid particle size. (3) Fasting significantly decreased the [L/(L + S)]t, LSI, and PHM. (4) A postprandial scan may be preferable since the normal values for [L/(L + S)]t, LSI, and PHM are greater, with a narrower range, than fasting values.

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