Background: Tc-99m-BrIDA hepatobiliary scans are noninvasive tests for detecting biliary leaks and obstructions. However, there is low sensitivity and specificity in patients with hyperbilirubinemia. Biliary complications (BC) are the Achilles heel of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). We questioned whether hyperbilirubinemia in liver transplant recipients rendered HIDA scanning less dependable. Methods: HIDA findings were compared to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, laparotomy, and clinical course. Results were categorized as follows: true positive (TP), true negative (TN), false positive (FP), false negative (FN), or nondiagnostic/inconclusive. We searched for variables associated with erroneous or nondiagnostic tests which we defined as all examinations determined to be FP, FN and/or nondiagnostic/inconclusive. Results: Thirty-four patients underwent a HIDA scan. The sensitivity and specificity were 70 and 100%. The sensitivity of HIDA improved to 100% in patients with a total bilirubin (TB) <5 mg/dl. Inconclusive and FN patients had a total bilirubin >5 mg/dl. One FN had a TB <5 mg/dl, but was determined inconclusive due to the roux-en-Y. Conclusion: HIDA scans performed when the total bilirubin was <5 mg/dl had a high sensitivity and specificity for detecting biliary complications after OLT. However, when the total bilirubin exceeded 5 mg/dl, the specificity was still 100% but the numbers of nondiagnostic/inconclusive and FN exams were increased.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging