Gastrointestinal bleeding in adult patients with Meckel's diverticulum: the role of technetium 99m pertechnetate scan.
Obscure gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is often challenging for the primary care physician, but with improved diagnostic testing the cause of this blood loss is determined in most patients. However, approximately 5% of the time no underlying cause is found. One common etiology in patients younger than 40 years of age is a Meckel's diverticulum. The technetium 99m pertechnetate scan is the standard test for making this diagnosis. However, the sensitivity of the scan is only 62% in the adult population. In this case report, a patient with profound, hemodynamically significant GI blood loss had multiple negative studies. Subsequently, an abnormal vascular lesion was detected and during exploratory laparotomy, a Meckel's diverticulum was found and removed. Although the technetium pertechnetate scan is falsely negative in a number of cases, there are ways to increase its sensitivity and possibly avoid repeated testing.
Lin, S; Suhocki, PV; Ludwig, KA; Shetzline, MA
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