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Radioisotope Scintillation Scanning in the Evaluation of Pericardial Effusion

Roger D. Miercort, MD; Donald W. Brown, MD
JAMA. 1967;200(4):344-345. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120170116033.
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REJALI et al1 introduced radioisotope scanning of the heart and great vessels in 1958. Since then, this test has been shown to be useful in the diagnosis of pericardial effusion and thoracico-abdominal midline masses,2-4 and in the evaluation of ventricular aneurysms.5 Recently, the procedure has somewhat fallen from favor. This is due in part to the advent of carbon dioxide insufflation and improved angiographic and ultrasonic techniques, but a more important deterrent has been the widespread impression that effusions of less than 300 cc are difficult to detect by pericardial scanning. That this impression is erroneous was shown in vitro by Bonte et al4 and in vivo by Sklaroff et al6 when they demonstrated that scans will detect effusions of 200 cc. The following report confirms their findings, again showing that effusions of 200 cc are detectable by scanning, and that the reliability of this


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