99mTc-labeled interleukin 8 for the scintigraphic detection of infection and inflammation: first clinical evaluation

C. Bleeker-Rovers, H. Rennen, O. Boerman, A. Wymenga, E. Visser, J. Bakker, J. van der Meer, F. Corstens and W. Oyen

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. c.bleeker-rovers@AIG.umcn.nl
Mar, 2007


Interleukin 8 (IL-8) is a chemotactic cytokine that binds with a high affinity to receptors expressed on neutrophils. Previous studies with various animal models showed that (99m)Tc-labeled IL-8 accumulates specifically and rapidly in infectious and inflammatory foci. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the safety of IL-8 in humans and to assess the value of (99m)Tc-IL-8 scintigraphy in patients with suspected localized infections.(99m)Tc-IL-8 was intravenously injected at 400 MBq into 20 patients with various suspected localized infections. Patients were monitored for IL-8-related side effects for 4 h. Whole-body imaging was performed directly after injection and at 4 h after injection. Imaging after 24 h was performed for the first 7 patients and for subsequent patients when the results of (99m)Tc-IL-8 scintigraphy at 4 h after injection were normal or equivocal. Blood was drawn at several time points to determine the total number of leukocytes and leukocyte differentiation (all patients) and to determine pharmacokinetics (6 patients).(99m)Tc-IL-8 scintigraphy was performed for 20 patients (13 men and 7 women) with a mean age of 60 y (range, 21-76 y). No significant side effects were noted. Patients had suspected joint prosthesis infections (n = 9), osteomyelitis (n = 8), liver abscess (n = 1), and soft-tissue infections (n = 2). (99m)Tc-IL-8 was rapidly cleared from the blood and most other organs. In 10 of 12 patients with infections, (99m)Tc-IL-8 localized the infection at 4 h after injection. In 1 patient with vertebral osteomyelitis and in 1 patient with an infected knee prosthesis, (99m)Tc-IL-8 scintigraphy results were false-negative. In 8 patients with noninfectious disorders, no focal accumulation of (99m)Tc-IL-8 was found.Injection of (99m)Tc-IL-8 is well tolerated. (99m)Tc-IL-8 scintigraphy is a promising new tool for the detection of infections in patients as early as 4 h after injection.