Scans save limbs

Amputations can be reduced when patients with diabetes are screened using dual i­sotope SPECT/CT, according to research presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of SNM (a global nuclear medicine organisation).

Combining two imaging agents that use molecular techniques provides more accurate imagery of foot infections, researchers said. 

In total, 227 scans were performed on 191 patients. Results showed 84 cases of osteomyelitis, 93 soft tissue infections, 25 combinations of both and 25 other pathologies. 

The diagnoses were confirmed by tissue culture and follow-up examinations, with only five false negatives and one false positive identified. 

Of the 207 clinical decisions based on the scans, 72% (150) were followed with conservative therapy such as local debridement and antibiotics, while 24% (49) led to minor procedures such as partial bony resection and toe amputation to save the limb.