Efficiency of the bone scan for occult limping toddlers

J Aronson, K Garvin, J Seibert, C Glasier, E A Tursky
Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics 1992, 12 (1): 38-44
Fifty consecutive occult limping toddlers were prospectively evaluated by acute triphase 99mTc MDP scintigraphy (TTS) at Arkansas Children's Hospital from 1984 through 1989. Only patients with a limp that could not be diagnosed by an orthopaedist were included. TTS proved essential in localizing the lesion in 27 patients (54%). With only two false negatives and one false positive, this test was shown to be highly sensitive, specific, efficient, and predictive, especially as compared with temperature, white blood cell (WBC) count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and plain radiography. Because no infections were missed by TTS, patients with a normal TTS could be safely observed as outpatients, saving thousands of health care dollars in this small series.

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