The deleterious effects of high-dose radiation on normal tissue are sometimes extrapolated to diagnostic (SPECT and PET) radiopharmaceutical extravasation (RPE). It has been hypothesized that diagnostic RPE can have gradually evolving local tissue injury and a potentially increased risk of local dermatologic or oncologic diseases over a longer period. However, data on clinical adverse events after diagnostic RPE are limited. Therefore, our primary aim was to study the occurrence of short-term and long-term clinical adverse events in patients who underwent 99mTc-methylene diphosphonate (99mTc-MDP) whole-body bone scintigraphy (WBBS) with reported RPE. Methods: The records of 99mTc-MDP WBBS performed from June 2010 to January 2022 were retrospectively examined for RPE documented in the scan reports. The clinical records of patients with a documented RPE were extensively reviewed for any related short-term adverse events (within 2 wk of the WBBS: local symptoms and care sought for local dermatologic or musculoskeletal issues) and long-term adverse events (until the last follow-up: local deleterious effects and related consults for dermatology, plastic surgery, oncology, or orthopedics). Results: Retrospective review of the records of 31,679 99mTc-MDP WBBS studies showed RPE documented in 118 (0.37%). Medical records were not retrievable for 22 patients, yielding a final cohort of 96 patients with reported RPE. The median follow-up was 18.9 mo (interquartile range, 7.8–45.7 mo). Short-term events were noted in 4 patients, of whom one was asymptomatic. Of the 3 symptomatic patients, 2 experienced mild discomfort at the injection site, and 1 had tender swelling. Three of the 4 events were in patients who had a prior intravenous contrast extravasation for contrast-enhanced CT performed earlier during the day and a 99mTc-MDP injection later at the same site, likely leading to RPE. None of the long-term local events had any plausible link with the RPE event. Conclusion: Reported RPE was rare, and 3 patients (0.009%) had short-term local symptoms, all of which were likely related to the prior higher-volume intravenous contrast extravasation. The smaller-volume diagnostic radiopharmaceutical injections for WBBS are highly unlikely to cause local symptoms on their own. No patient had any long-term adverse event with a plausible link to the RPE.
- bone scan