Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
                                                   Official journal of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons                           
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 222--224

Bowel excretion of Technetium-99mL, L-Ethylene dicysteine masquerading as a dilated ureter in a case of pelvi-ureteric junction obstruction: Case report and review


Prabudh Goel1, Minu Bajpai1, Nishikant Avinash Damle2, Priyanka Naranje3, Madhavi Tripathi2,  
1 Department of Pediatric Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Nuclear Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Radiodiagnosis, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Minu Bajpai
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Room No. 4002, 4th Floor, Teaching Block, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
India

Abstract

The treatment plan and the decision for surgery in a significant proportion of patients with pelvi-ureteric junction (PUJ) obstruction type of hydronephrosis are dependent on the findings of renal scintigraphy. We report a case of a 3.5-year-old girl with right-sided PUJ obstruction, wherein the tracer excretion into the cecum and ascending colon complicated the clinical picture thereby misleading the final diagnosis or treatment plan and blurring the distinction between hydronephrosis and hydroureteronephrosis. Additional investigations may be required in such cases to reach a conclusion. The authors considered reporting this case in view of the deep-rooted clinical implications toward making a correct diagnosis. Besides, the possible mechanisms to explain the presence of the tracer inside the bowel have been discussed.



How to cite this article:
Goel P, Bajpai M, Damle NA, Naranje P, Tripathi M. Bowel excretion of Technetium-99mL, L-Ethylene dicysteine masquerading as a dilated ureter in a case of pelvi-ureteric junction obstruction: Case report and review.J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2019;24:222-224


How to cite this URL:
Goel P, Bajpai M, Damle NA, Naranje P, Tripathi M. Bowel excretion of Technetium-99mL, L-Ethylene dicysteine masquerading as a dilated ureter in a case of pelvi-ureteric junction obstruction: Case report and review. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 May 17 ];24:222-224
Available from: https://www.jiaps.com/text.asp?2019/24/3/222/259752


Full Text



 Introduction



Renal dynamic scan (RDS) or scintigraphy is the most widely used noninvasive test to determine the severity and functional significance of pelvi-ureteric junction (PUJ) obstruction. The decision for surgical intervention in a significant proportion of these patients is based on the findings of this single investigation.

The authors hereby report a case of right-sided PUJ obstruction, wherein the presence of tracer inside the cecum and ascending colon masquerading as dilated ureter has the potential to complicate the clinical picture and mislead the final diagnosis or treatment plan.

 Case Report



A 3.5-year-old girl presented with nonspecific right flank pain of recent origin. Systemic examination including the abdomen was unremarkable. Sonography was suggestive of right-sided PUJ obstruction (right hydronephrosis with a nondilated ureter).

The patient underwent RDS with99m Tc-L, L-ethylene dicysteine (99m Tc-LLEC) to determine the renal clearance, functional significance of PUJ obstruction, and differential renal function. 3 mCi of activity was administered as a bolus. Differential function assessed between 1–2 min after the tracer injection with background correction was equivocal (Lt: 52% vs. Rt: 48%). Transit of tracer through the kidney was assessed with Tmax (Lt: Rt = 1.8:15.3 s) and inspection of the renogram curve [Figure 1]a. The left renal curve was typically normal, while the right curve was ascending continuously and represented delayed excretion.{Figure 1}

However, the delayed (4 h) renal static image was peculiar with the presence of radioactivity caudal to the lower pole of the right kidney, giving the appearance of dilated ureter [Figure 1]b. The possibility of the gut activity was also considered.

A repeat sonogram was requested to resolve the disparity between the ultrasonography (hydronephrosis with nondilated ureter) and RDS (hydroureteronephrosis) findings. The right kidney was hydronephrotic (SFU grade 3; cortical thickness 6 mm) with abrupt tapering at the level of PUJ [Figure 2]a. Transverse imaging at the levels of lower pole (right kidney) and bladder trigone confirmed the presence of nondilated upper/mid-ureter [Figure 2]b and nondilated distal ureter [Figure 2]c, respectively.{Figure 2}

Rereview of the RDS images confirmed that the abnormal radioactivity in the right lower quadrant was generated by the tracer in the cecum and ascending colon.

 Discussion



Today,99m TC-EC has become the scintigraphy agent of choice for assessment of renal function and RDS the investigation of choice for evaluation of patients with PUJO type of hydronephrosis.

99m Tc-LLEC is the terminal metabolite of99m Tc-LLEC-diethyl-ester (99m Tc-LL-ECD) used for a brain scan. LLEC is excreted rapidly and efficiently into the urine. It has a high first-pass extraction (~70% vs. 20% for99m Tc-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid), low plasma protein binding (~30%), and low red blood cell binding (~5.7%) in addition to negligible extrarenal clearance and high kidney-to-background ratio.[1] Several studies in both animals and human subjects have reported on the significantly low accumulation of LLEC in the liver and intestines vis-a-vis its contemporary agents (MAG3/OIH).[2],[3]

In the index case, the visualization of tracer in the cecum and ascending colon can only be explained by extrarenal clearance of LLEC. PubMed search revealed two case reports[4],[5] mentioning extrarenal clearance of LLEC. Arora et al. have reported the vicarious visualization of the gallbladder on99m Tc-EC scan in a 10-year-old patient of renal transplant.[4] Jain et al. have reported the presence of liver activity on LLEC-renal-scintigraphy mimicking an impaired functioning kidney in an empty right renal fossa.[5]

We have reviewed the available literature on LLEC and the excretion characteristics of other radiopharmaceuticals and made certain observations.

First, the radiochemical impurities may alter the biodistribution of any radiopharmaceutical, especially if labeling is done below a pH of 12. However, in such a situation, the other cases of RDS performed simultaneously should demonstrate similar activity.

Second, ~10% of hepatobiliary clearance has been reported for 99 mTc-MAG3. Paradoxically, the lack of hepatobiliary excretion is an advantage of LLEC over MAG3.

Third, the different stereoisomers of EC may have different excretion characteristics.[5]

Fourth, low-level hepatic uptake of LLEC (<6%) has been reported in patients with anuria.[4] In case of normally functioning kidneys, the hepatic uptake may not be obvious due to high emission from the kidneys.

Fifth, pretreatment with probenecid impairs the renal excretion of LLEC, resulting in reduced urinary tracer excretion along with a more pronounced hepatobiliary handling of EC and a slower clearance from the blood. There is no history of any drug intake impairing renal excretion in the index case. The disease pathology (PUJ obstruction) may not be blamed per SE in view of normal contralateral kidney and consistent absence of gut activity in patients with PUJ obstruction.

In our index case, it is not possible to figure out the exact reason for visualization of contrast inside the cecum and ascending colon with the available knowledge. However, the possibility of hepatobiliary excretion of the tracer soon after injection seems likely. The blood level of the tracer is maximum soon after injection; it declines rapidly thereafter. The localization of this contrast in the gallbladder and its transportation into the cecum/ascending colon is expected to take time which correlates with its visualization in the delayed (4-h) images.

The authors considered reporting this case important because of its clinical implications in making a correct diagnosis. The gut activity may be misinterpreted as a dilated ureter, and the distinction between hydronephrosis and hydroureteronephrosis may be blurred. This may complicate the clinical picture and mislead the treatment plan.

 Conclusion



With a background of available clinical information, a careful interpretation of the renal scan is usually sufficient to reach a meaningful conclusion; however, additional imaging such as correlation with ultrasonography or single-photon emission computed tomography (CT)/CT may occasionally be considered essential.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

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