In previous studies, we found that biliary scintigraphy with technetium-99m-labeled iminodiacetic acid ([99mTc]IDA) provided excellent discrimination between intrahepatic and extrahepatic cholestasis, except in patients with profound cholestasis who had poor visualization of the biliary tree. In this study, we have used deconvolution analysis to determine the hepatic extraction fraction (HEF) of a hypothetical single circulatory pass of[99mTc]IDA. Our hypothesis was that extraction of radionuclide from the blood would be normal in patients with extrahepatic obstruction alone, but would be impaired in patients with intrahepatic disease (IHD). The purpose of this study was to compare the HEF in patients with profound cholestasis (bilirubin≥3.0 mg/dl) due to either IHD or common bile duct obstruction (CBDO). Normal subjects (N=13) had an HEF of 100%. Patients with CBDO (N=13) had slightly reduced HEF values (92.8±3.2%) despite profound hyperbilirubinemia (6.1±1.0 mg/dl). Patients with IHD (N=23) had a markedly reduced HEF (43.1±4.1%) which was significantly lower than patients with CBDO and normal subjects (P<0.001). We conclude that the determination of the HEF during biliary scintigraphy is helpful in distinguishing between intrahepatic and extrahepatic disease in patients with hyperbilirubinemia (bilirubin≥3.0 mg/dl).
- common bile duct obstruction
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