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J Assoc Physicians India. 1996 May;44(5):310-2.

Significance of radioisotope bone marrow uptake on 99m technetium sulphocolloid scan in portal hypertension.

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Department of Internal Medicine, TN Medical College, Bombay.


A prospective study of 101 consecutive patients of portal hypertension was carried out to study the possible relationships between bone marrow activity on 99m technetium labelled sulphocolloid scan and severity of liver disease, etiology of portal hypertension and cirrhosis, as well as presence and extent of collateral circulation, including esophageal varices. The patients were divided into 4 etiological groups: alcoholic cirrhosis (ALD), (38) non-alcoholic cirrhosis (NALD) (35) non-cirrhotic portal fibrosis (NCPF) (14) and extrahepatic portal vein obstruction (EHPVO) (14). Patients of cirrhosis were categorised according to modified Child-Pugh's classification. Esophageal varices were graded endoscopically as (1) no varix (2) small varices (< 5mm) (3) large varices (> 5mm). All patients underwent radionuclide imaging using 99m Technetium labelled sulphocolloid and bone marrow activity was studied. Evaluation of portasystemic collaterals was done ultrasonically. We found that 16.6%, 44.6% and 72.72% patients with Child A, B and C cirrhosis respectively, had increased marrow activity (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference between marrow activity of patients with ALD (52.6%) and NALD (40%). None of the non-cirrhotic patients demonstrated bone marrow uptake of radioisotope. There was no significant difference between bone marrow uptake presence of lienorenal collaterals and presence or size of esophageal varices. We thus conclude the bone marrow activity on radioisotope scanning depends only on the severity of liver disease and does not vary a according to the etiology of cirrhosis, or presence and extent of portasystemic collaterals, including esophageal varices.

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