A prospective, single-blind study was done to determine the ability of serial 99mtechnetium-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid scans to diagnose renal allograft rejection. Among 28 transplant recipients 111 renal scans were obtained 1 day postoperatively and every 3 to 4 days thereafter for 3 weeks in all patients retaining an allograft. Computer-generated time-activity blood flow curves were analyzed semiquantitatively for the 1) interval between curve peaks of the allograft and iliac artery, 2) renal transit time and 3) renal washout of radionuclide. Excretory function was assessed by degree and interval to appearance of radionuclide in the calices and bladder. Deterioration of renal blood flow and excretion compared to the initial scan was considered rejection. Of 52 scans performed during clinical rejection 47 (90.4%) were interpreted as showing rejection (sensitivity). Of 53 scans interpreted as showing rejection 47 (88.7%) were positive for clinical rejection. The remaining 6 patients (initial false positive results) suffered clinical rejection within 24 to 72 hours. We conclude that 99mtechnetium-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid renal scans are useful in the differential diagnosis of renal allograft dysfunction.
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