By Kuno RC; Cerqueira MD
Address: Department of Radiology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, USA.
A 29-yr-old man with several years of back pain was referred for a bone
scan. High-resolution regional spot images of the skeleton were
obtained following intravenous injection of 20 mCi 99mTc-methylene
diphosphonate. Posterior and lateral images of the skull showed focal
increased uptake in several regions of the skull. Upon questioning, the
patient stated that he had received acupuncture treatment for his back
pain several times in the same regions as the increased uptake. The
needle placement was confirmed by the patient's acupuncturist.
Acupuncture can cause enhanced bone metabolism demonstrated by
increased activity on bone scans.