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Nucl Med Commun. 2008 Sep;29(9):786-90. doi: 10.1097/MNM.0b013e3283071307.

99mTc-MIBI imaging of AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma in the lungs.

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  • 1Department of Radiography, Durban University of Technology, Congella, Durban.



Pulmonary Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) occurs in more than 10% of patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and has a high mortality rate. Prompt detection, diagnosis, and treatment reduce patient morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of 99mTc-hexakis-2-methoxy isobutyl isonitrile (99mTc-MIBI) imaging in detecting pulmonary AIDS-related KS.


99mTc-MIBI imaging was performed on 72 human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive patients with bronchoscopic diagnosis of pulmonary KS (36 patients), pneumonia (22), normal tracheo-bronchial tree (11), lymphoma (2), and bronchogenic carcinoma (1). Lung uptake and lymph node detection in KS were compared on planar and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans.


The lung/myocardium ratios on the 1-h planar images were significantly higher in KS and normal lungs than opportunistic infection. Using the lung/myocardium ratio of 1 as cutoff, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the 1-h planar images for detecting pulmonary KS were 75, 57.58, and 66.67%, respectively. Abnormal lymph node uptake, pleural/pericardial effusions, and ascites were detected more readily on SPECT.


Planar 99mTc-MIBI imaging has moderate sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for detecting pulmonary KS. SPECT is more effective in detecting abnormal lymph nodes, pleural/pericardial effusions, and ascites. 99mTc-MIBI SPECT followed by planar imaging at 40-60 min can be useful in assessing pulmonary KS.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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