99mTc-HMPAO radiolabeled autologous leukocyte scintigraphy is routinely used clinically for infection imaging. Leukocytes are mostly separated via sedimentation. It is unknown whether leukocytes are clearly separated by sedimentation or selectively labeled. Therefore, in this study, the blood cell numbers were investigated after leukocyte radiolabeling to identify the cells strongly radiolabeled by 99mTc-HMPAO.
This study was performed using wasted sample in patients who underwent 99mTc-HMPAO scintigraphy at Chonbuk National University Hospital (2018-2019). The blood of 22 patients was drawn for 99mTc-HMPAO scintigraphy. WBCs were separated via conventional sedimentation at our clinic and radiolabeled. The concentration of cell components was determined using an automatic hematology analyzer. The cells in the final sample injectate sample were separated using Histopaque and counted with a dose calibrator.
The average numbers of RBCs, WBCs, and PLTs in the final injection sample were 79 ± 33, 23.26 ± 11.95, and 229.5 ± 206.57 x 103 /μL, respectively. The PLT number was almost 10-fold the number of WBCs. The number of RBCs was nearly 3-fold higher than WBCs [RBC/WBC ratio = 4.67 ± 3.58, and PLT/WBC ratio = 10.65 ± 12.46]. Following Histopaque separation, the activity of each layer showed 99mTc-HMPAO labeling of WBC > RBC > PLT in order. The total activity/cell numbers of WBCs, RBCs and PLTs were 0.016 ± 0.010, 0.005 ± 0.005 and 0.003 ± 0.002, respectively (p> 0.05).
Although the numbers of RBCs and PLTs were highly increased after sedimentation, their individual cellular activity was lower than that of WBCs. 99mTc-HMPAO was more selective to WBCs than RBCs or PLTs. In conclusion, a higher number of WBCs were radiolabeled compared with RBCs and PLTs.

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