Peak activity over the spleen as a percentage of peak activity over the liver was measured in 265 99mTechnetium sulphur colloid liver scintiscans. The value exceeded 70% in 50 cases. In 32 of these cirrhosis was present; the other 18 scans were from patients with a wide variety of conditions, including secondary deposits, hepatitis, and diseases involving the reticuloendothelial system. A measure of the total activity in the spleen was derived from the peak activity and the length of the spleen. In cirrhosis this was closely related to the finding of oesophageal varices thus showing the importance of a collateral circulation (which allows colloid to bypass the liver) in the increased uptake of colloid by the spleen.
In eight patients with hepatosplenomegaly due to blood dyscrasia or disease involving the reticuloendothelial system, total activities in the liver and spleen were estimated from the anteroposterior colour dot scan, and both liver and spleen blood flow were measured by methods independent of reticuloendothelial cell function. The results showed that the main factor causing increased uptake of colloid by the spleen in these diseases was an increased blood flow in the spleen relative to that in the liver.
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