THE DIAGNOSIS of infarction of the spleen in patients who present with left-upper-quadrant abdominal pain is difficult to prove by the usual diagnostic techniques. Radioisotope photoscanning, after administering isotopes which selectively concentrate in the spleen, is a relatively new and useful diagnostic procedure specifically directed at clarifying splenic disease. The following report of two cases of infarction of the spleen, due to arterial emboli originating from infected vascular prostheses, illustrates the usefulness of photoscanning for the diagnosis of intrasplenic disease.
Techniques of Spleen Scanning
Visualization of the spleen by scanning depends upon attaining a selective concentration of radioactivity in the spleen, which is higher than that in the surrounding tissue. Since the distribution of the isotope within the spleen represents only functioning tissue, areas of destroyed function such as caused by infarction will be delineated as regions without radioactivity.Spleen scanning was originally performed by injecting red blood cells treated
Nelp WB, Kuhn IN. Splenic Infarction Diagnosed Preoperatively by Photoscanning. JAMA. 1966;197(5):368-371. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110050106031