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J Nucl Med. 1998 Jun;39(6):1081-3.

Scintigraphic screening prior to visceral arteriography in acute lower gastrointestinal bleeding.

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Department of Radiology, Indiana University, Indianapolis, USA.


We evaluated the effect on the diagnostic yield of visceral arteriography in patients with acute gastrointestinal bleeding of a protocol requiring a positive 99mTc-red blood cell scintiscan before the performance of arteriography (scintigraphic screening).


A retrospective review was conducted of 249 scintiscans and 271 arteriograms obtained over 99 mo, with scintigraphic screening implemented during the final 18 mo.


Before the implementation of scintigraphic screening, arteriograms detected bleeding at a rate of 22%. After its implementation, 53% of the arteriograms detected bleeding. This represented a statistically significant increase (0.53 versus 0.22, p = 0.015).


Scintigraphic screening appears to increase by a factor of 2.4 the diagnostic yield of arteriography by screening out patients who are not actively bleeding at the time of the examination, thus sparing them the risks and costs of a nondiagnostic invasive study.

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