Clinical nuclear medicine vol:18 issue:8 pages:671-4
To establish the value of quantitative radionuclide bone scanning after total knee replacement, 21 patients were scheduled for examination. Eight patients were scanned more than 1 year after surgery (group 1), and 13 within the first postsurgical year (group 2). Ratios were calculated for three regions of interest. The ratio was defined as the counts per pixel for each region of interest, normalized by dividing them by the counts per pixel of the ipsilateral femoral shaft. There was no significant difference in uptake between control subjects and patients in group 2, indicating that the test was not reliable within this time period. No statistical difference was found between the uptake scores in groups 1 and 2, demonstrating that an uninterpretable period of 1 year is perhaps too short. Using a ratio of more than three, seen more than 1 year after surgery as pathologic, a sensitivity of 100%, a specificity of 33%, and an accuracy of 75% was found. Quantitative bone scanning is a very sensitive test for detecting complications, but it is nonspecific in diagnosing loosening of total knee arthroplasties. The value of quantitative scanning presumably lies in the follow-up of patients as an objective method for the evaluation of sequential scanning. Nevertheless, radionuclide data need to be interpreted in correlation with clinical and radiologic findings.