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June 1991

Quantitative Bone and 67Ga Scintigraphy in the Differentiation of Necrotizing External Otitis From Severe External Otitis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Otolaryngology (Drs Uri and Meyer) and Nuclear Medicine (Drs Gips, Front, and Hardoff), Lady Davis Carmel Hospital, Haifa, Israel.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117(6):623-626. doi:10.1001/archotol.1991.01870180059012

• Qualitative technetium Tc 99m bone scintigraphy using phosphate compounds and gallium 67 scintigraphy were described as a helpful means in diagnosing necrotizing external otitis (NEO). They were, however, claimed to be nonspecific. Quantitative Tc 99m methylene diphosphonate bone scintigraphy and gallium 67 scintigraphy were performed in eight patients with NEO and in 20 patients with severe external otitis, in order to prove usefulness of scintigraphy in the diagnosis of NEO. Ratios of lesion to nonlesion for bone scintigraphy were 1.67 ± 0.16 in patients with NEO and 1.08 ± 0.09 in patients with severe external otitis, and for gallium 67 scintigraphy they were 1.35 ± 0.24 in NEO patients and 1.05 ± 0.03 in patients with severe external otitis. There was no difference in uptake between diabetic patients with severe external otitis and nondiabetic patients. The scintigraphic studies were also evaluated using a qualitative scoring method (scores 0 to +4), according to the intensity of the radiopharmaceutical uptake. This method was found to be inferior in the diagnosis of NEO compared with the quantitative method. We conclude that lesion-to-nonlesion ratios greater than 1.5 and 1.3 on bone and gallium 67 scintigraphy, respectively, are indicative of NEO. Quantitative bone scintigraphy, which is quicker to perform, may be used as a single imaging modality for the diagnosis of NEO.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1991;117:623-626)

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