Background: Blood loss from the gastrointestinal tract can be an acute and life-threatening event. For the treatment of gastrointestinal bleeding, it is important to accurately detect gastrointestinal bleeding and to localize the sites of bleeding. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively assess the capabilities of SPECT/CT in the diagnosis of gastrointestinal bleeding by a comparison with planar imaging alone as well as planar and SPECT. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 20 patients (21 examinations) who underwent gastrointestinal bleeding scintigraphy in the past 7 years and in whom the bleeding site was identified by endoscopy or capsule endoscopy, or in whom no evidence of gastrointestinal bleeding was identified during the clinical course. Five patients (5 examinations) were diagnosed by planar imaging (planar group). Eight patients (9 examinations) were diagnosed by planar imaging and SPECT (planar + SPECT group). Seven patients (7 examinations) were diagnosed by planar imaging and SPECT/CT (planar + SPECT/CT group). We calculated the diagnostic ability of each method in detecting the presence of bleeding, as well as the ability of each method to identify the sites of bleeding. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the methods were compared. Results: The diagnostic ability of the three imaging methods in detecting the presence of gastrointestinal bleeding was as follows. Planar imaging showed 100% sensitivity (3/3), 100% specificity (2/2), and 100% accuracy (5/5). Planar + SPECT imaging showed 85.7% sensitivity (6/7), 100% specificity (2/2), and 88.9% accuracy (8/9). Planar + SPECT/CT imaging showed 100% sensitivity (6/6), 100% specificity (1/1), and 100% accuracy (7/7). The diagnostic ability of the three modalities in detecting the site of bleeding was as follows: planar, 33.3% (1/3); planar + SPECT, 71.4% (5/7); and planar + SPECT/CT, 100% (6/6). Conclusions: All 3 imaging methods showed good accuracy in detecting the presence of gastrointestinal bleeding. The addition of SPECT or SPECT/CT made the anatomical position of the uptake clear and contributed to the localization of the site of gastrointestinal bleeding. Planar + SPECT/CT imaging therefore showed the highest diagnostic ability for detecting the site of gastrointestinal bleeding.
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