The management protocol for differentiated thyroid cancer includes whole body iodine-131 imaging, to detect residual thyroid tissue and distant metastasis, after thyroidectomy. However, the diagnostic dose of radioiodine may fail to detect the non-functioning or poorly functioning metastasis. We present a case where hybrid single photon-emission computed tomographic and computed tomographic (SPECT-CT) fusion imaging, using a diagnostic dose of iodine-131, was able to detect both functioning as well as non-functioning pulmonary metastases, prior to high-dose radioiodine therapy.
Carcinoma; hybrid imaging; iodine-131; SPECT-CT; thyroid
Background & objectives:
Radioiodine (131I) or radioactive iodine in low doses is used worldwide as the first line of management in the treatment of hyperthyroidism. Information is available on the extent and severity of cell damage after a high dose radioiodine (131I) therapy for thyroid cancer, but information is scanty on its cellular effects, its extent and severity of cell damage after a low dose 131I therapy. The present investigation was aimed to study the cytotoxic effects of a low dose 131I therapy in varying doses as is normally being used in routine clinical practice in the treatment of various forms of hyperthyroidism.
Peripheral blood lymphocytes were analyzed in 32 hyperthyroid patients. All of them received
131I in the form of sodium iodide solution orally. Blood lymphocytes were studied for the presence of chromosomal aberrations (CA) and micro nucleus (MN) using micronucleus assay. Blood samples of these patients were drawn prior to the treatment, on 7
thdays after the treatment.
The results indicated a positive relationship between 131I dose, CA and MN frequency. A statistically significant increase in CA and MN frequency in day 7 post- therapy and a decrease in mean levels of CA and MN on day 30 post-therapy were observed when compared to pre-therapy.
Interpretation & conclusions:
This study showed that the cytogenetic damage induced by
131I in low doses i.e., less than 555MBq was minimal and reversible. Patients can be motivated to undertake this safe and easy procedure as a first line of therapy in the treatment of hyperthyroidism.
chromosomal aberrations; hyperthyroidism; low dose 131I therapy; micronucleus assay
The development of acute myeloid leukaemia after low-dose radioiodine therapy and its presentation as a myeloid sarcoma of the uterine cervix are both rare events. We report a case of acute myeloid leukaemia revealed by a myeloid sarcoma of the uterine cervix in a 48-year-old woman, 17 months after receiving a total dose of 100 mCi 131I for papillary thyroid cancer. A strict hematological follow-up of patients treated with any dose of 131I is recommended to accurately detect any hematological complications which might have been underestimated. Unusual presentations, such as chloroma of the uterine cervix, may reveal myeloid malignancy and should be kept in mind.
Acute myeloid leukaemia; Myeloid sarcoma of the uterine cervix; Radioiodine therapy
It is possible to safely lower the basal metabolism of patients suffering from severe cardiac disease by administering multiple small doses of radioiodine in order to achieve symptomatic relief.
From the present study, multiple small doses of I131 appeared to be as effective as single or multiple large doses of this material and complications such as thyroiditis, temporary thyrotoxicosis and bone marrow depression were almost always avoided. No damage to the parathyroid glands or the recurrent laryngeal nerve was observed. No radiation sickness developed after therapy.
A scintigram of the thyroid gland was useful in determining the size, shape and function of the thyroid gland before and during radioiodine treatment and helped to determine the need for additional treatment. In order to prevent the distressing symptoms of the myxedema state, desiccated thyroid was administered when necessary.
In the series of 278 euthyroid patients with severe cardiac disease who were treated with radioactive iodine, results were excellent in 35 per cent of cases and good in 44 per cent. In 21 per cent there was no improvement.
Ablative approaches using radioiodine are increasingly proposed for the treatment of Graves′ disease (GD) but their ophthalmologic and biological autoimmune responses remain controversial and data concerning clinical and biochemical outcomes are limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate thyroid function, TSH-receptor antibodies (TRAb) and Graves′ ophthalmopathy (GO) occurrence after radioiodine thyroid ablation in GD. We reviewed 162 patients treated for GD by iodine-131 (131I) with doses ranging from 370 to 740 MBq, adjusted to thyroid uptake and sex, over a 6-year period in a tertiary referral center. Collected data were compared for outcomes, including effectiveness of radioiodine therapy (RIT) as primary endpoint, evolution of TRAb, and occurrence of GO as secondary endpoints. The success rate was 88.3% within the first 6 months after the treatment. The RIT failure was increased in the presence of goiter (adjusted odds ratio = 4.1, 95% confidence interval 1.4–12.0, P = 0.010). The TRAb values regressed with time (r = −0.147; P = 0.042) and patients with a favorable outcome had a lower TRAb value (6.5 ± 16.4 U/L) than those with treatment failure (23.7 ± 24.2 U/L, P < 0.001). At the final status, 48.1% of patients achieved normalization of serum TRAb. GO occurred for the first time in 5 patients (3.7%) who were successfully cured for hyperthyroidism but developed early and prolonged period of hypothyroidism in the context of antithyroid drugs (ATD) intolerance (P = 0.003) and high TRAb level (P = 0.012). On the basis the results of this study we conclude that ablative RIT is effective in eradicating Graves’ hyperthyroidism but may be accompanied by GO occurrence, particularly in patients with early hypothyroidism and high pretreatment TRAb and/or ATD intolerance. In these patients, we recommend an early introduction of LT4 to reduce the duration and the degree of the radioiodine-induced hypothyroidism.
Autoimmunity; Graves’ disease; ophthalmopathy; radioiodine therapy
Low iodine diet (LID) is recommended in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer before radioiodine administration. Patients with increased thyroglobulin (Tg) level, but negative 131I whole body scan present diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma. This study was designed to evaluate the benefit of a two-week LID in patients with elevated serum Tg levels and negative 131I whole body scans.
Patients and methods.
For the impact assessment of two-week LID on radioiodine tissue avidity, radioiodine scans before and after LID were compared. Sixteen patients with serum Tg > 2 μg/L, negative Tg-antibodies, and negative radioiodine scans underwent two-week LID before the 131I administration. Fourteen patients underwent diagnostic scanning and two patients received radioiodine therapy. Iodine concentration in the morning urine specimens were measured in each patient, a day before and 15th day after starting LID.
Following self-managed LID, patients were able to significantly reduce their iodine body content by 50% (range 28–65%, p<0,001). 13 patients (82%) accomplished mild iodine deficiency (50-99 μg/L) and one patient (6%) achieved targeted moderate iodine deficient state (<50 μg/L). All diagnostic post-LID scans were negative. Both post-therapy 131I scans showed radioiodine accumulation outside of normal 131I distribution (neck region and diffuse hepatic uptake). This study demonstrated that two-week LID is effective way to decrease total body iodine content, although without a visible effect on post-LID diagnostic 131I scans.
A more stringent dietary protocol and longer iodine restriction period are probably needed to achieve targeted moderate iodine deficiency in patients preparing for 131I administration. This might result in higher radioiodine avidity of thyroid remnant/metastases.
low iodine diet; urine iodine concentration; differentiated thyroid cancer; radioiodine
Malignant struma ovarii is a rare malignant germ cell tumor of the ovary. Due to the rarity of this disease, treatment has not been uniform throughout the published literature.
We present three cases of malignant struma ovarii. Following primary surgery, all were subsequently treated with thyroidectomy and 131I ablation therapy, two patients as first line management, one following the occurrence of metastatic disease.
Histological diagnosis of malignant struma ovarii is similar to that of well differentiated thyroid carcinoma (WDTC). In line with the latest advice on treatment of WDTC, we believe that the best option for patients with malignant struma ovarii is surgical removal of the ovarian lesion followed by total thyroidectomy which allows the exclusion of primary thyroid carcinoma, and in addition, allows radioiodine (131I) ablation therapy for (micro) metastasis. After thyroidectomy, thyroglobulin can be used as a tumor marker for follow-up. Moreover, nuclear medicine imaging using radioiodine (123I) can be performed to demonstrate metastatic carcinoma. A multidisciplinary approach is essential.
malignant struma ovarii; radioiodine therapy; thyroidectomy; germ cell tumors; multidisciplinary approach
There is no ideal treatment for benign multinodular goitre. Besides surgery, which is recommended for large goitres or when malignancy cannot be excluded, the non-surgical treatment options are levothyroxine therapy and radioiodine (131I) therapy. Conventional 131I therapy [without recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH)] has been used for more than a decade in symptomatic non-toxic multinodular goitre, and although it does lead to significant thyroid volume reduction, relatively high activities of radioiodine are needed because of a frequent finding of a low thyroid radioiodine uptake. rhTSH, even when used in very small doses in combination with 131I therapy, enhances the thyroid volume reduction at lower 131I activities by doubling the thyroid radioiodine uptake. However, before rhTSH stimulation can be routinely used by clinicians to optimise the 131I therapy in multinodular goitre, aspects of this association, such as the cost-benefit and optimum rhTSH dose and safety, will have to be sufficiently clarified.
The aim of this study was to review the outcome of ablative radioiodine treatment on ovarian function in young women treated for differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Of 1398 patients with differentiated thyroid cancer, 496 were women under the age of 40 at the time of diagnosis who had received radioiodine therapy. Of these, 322 received a single 3 GBq ablation dose of radioiodine while the remainder received subsequent treatment with 131I with a cumulative activity of 8.5–59 GBq for residual, recurrent, or metastatic disease. Transient amenorrhoea or menstrual irregularities lasting up to 10 months were experienced in 83 patients (17%). No cases of permanent ovarian failure were recorded. There were 427 children born to 276 women; only one patient wishing to achieve a successful pregnancy outcome has been unsuccessful. Four premature births and 14 miscarriages occurred but no congenital abnormalities were reported. The risk of permanent damage to the ovaries after ablative radioiodine treatment appears to be low and patients can be reassured they can have normal pregnancies after this treatment.
Fifty patients with uncomplicated Graves' disease were treated with radioactive iodine (I131). Twenty-six patients who were followed for one year or longer are the basis of this report. Twenty-five are now euthyroid; only one is not completely well.
The total dose of radioiodine administered varied from 0.5 to 10 millicuries. The average length of time necessary for return to a euthyroid state was from three to four months.
Hypometabolism developed in three patients, and in one the signs and symptoms of myxedema developed. No other complications ensued. One patient who apparently relapsed had complete return to normal after further iodine administration.
The determination of the uptake of radioactive iodine by the thyroid gland is a useful diagnostic procedure in differentiating conditions simulating hyperthyroidism.
Following treatment with radioactive iodine, the thyroid gland becomes smaller, the uptake of iodine by the gland is reduced, and the level of organic iodine in the plasma becomes normal.
In acute thyroiditis, in spite of a high basal metabolic rate, high content of organic iodine in the plasma and other evidences of “hyperthyroidism,” the uptake of I131 has been very low.
Renal metastases from thyroid carcinoma are very rare, late recurrences of papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) are not reported in literature and there is no universal recommendation for optimum duration of follow-up of thyroid carcinoma. We present herein a case of late renal recurrence of follicular variant PTC (FV-PTC). This study is a case report of renal metastasis revealing a late recurrence of FV-PTC. An 81-year-old woman with previously treated FV-PTC 24 years ago by total thyroidectomy, lymph nodes dissection and radioiodine therapy presented with sudden gross-hematuria. Computerized tomography scan (CT-scan) revealed a 70-mm right renal mass and histological diagnosis after nephrectomy demonstrated recurrence of FV-PTC with a positive thyroglobulin immunostaining. Despite of 131I-radioiodine therapy postoperatively, the serum thyroglobulin (Tg) increased and positron emission tomography combined to CT-scan showed 4 years later, an abdominal lymph node and distant metastases. Now the patient is alive but her general condition is too poor for systemic adjuvant therapy. This case illustrates the need of prolonged follow-up after surgery of high-risk FV-PTC.
Late recurrence; renal metastasis; thyroid carcinoma
Hypercalcaemia is a recognised complication of hypothyroidism. We describe three patients who developed hypercalcaemia after thyroidectomy when thyroid supplements were discontinued. They were treated with thyroxine, dihydrotachysterol, and calcium after operation, and in all three cases serum calcium concentrations remained constant during combined treatment. Thyroxine treatment was discontinued several weeks before a radioiodine scan was performed; dihydrotachysterol and calcium were continued throughout. Serum calcium concentrations rose to hypercalcaemic levels in all cases. Elimination of dihydrotachysterol from plasma may be delayed in hypothyroidism, resulting in hypervitaminosis D. It is advisable to reduce the dose of dihydrotachysterol and to check serum calcium concentrations regularly in patients whose thyroid treatment is interrupted.
Radioiodine is a routine therapy for differentiated thyroid cancers. Non-thyroid cancers may be treated with radio-iodine following transfection with the human sodium/iodide symporter (hNIS) gene. The glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter is an effective tumor-specific promoter for gene expression and thus may be useful in targeted gene therapy of malignant glioma. The present study used GFAP promoter-modulated expression of the hNIS gene in an experimental model of radioiodine-based treatment for malignant glioma. Cells were transfected using a recombination adeno-virus and evaluated in cells by studying the transfected transgene expression through western blot analysis, 125I uptake and efflux, clonogenicity following 131I treatment and radioiodine therapy using a U87 xenograft nude mouse model. Following transfection with the hNIS gene, the cells showed 95–70-fold higher 125I uptake compared with the control cells transfected with Ad-cytomegalovirus (CMV)-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). The western blotting revealed bands of ∼70, 49 and 43 kDa, consistent with the hNIS, GFAP and β-actin proteins. The clonogenic assay indicated that, following exposure to 500 μCi of 131I-iodide for 12 h, >90% of cells transfected with the hNIS gene were killed. Ad-GFAP-hNIS-transfected and 2 mCi 131I-injected U87 xenograft nude mice survived the longest of the three groups. The hNIS-expressing tumor tissue accumulated 99mTcO4 rapidly within 30 min of it being intraperitoneally injected. The experiments demonstrated that effective 131I therapy was achieved in the malignant glioma cell lines following the induction of tumor-specific iodide uptake activity by GFAP promoter-directed hNIS gene expression in vitro and in vivo. 131I therapy retarded Ad-GFAP-hNIS transfected-tumor growth following injection with 131I in U87 xenograft-bearing nude mice.
malignant glioma; sodium iodide symporter; glial fibrillary acidic protein promoter; radioiodine therapy
Radioiodine (131I) therapy is widely accepted as an essential part of therapeutic regimens in many cases of differentiated thyroid cancer. Radiation-induced oxidative damage to macromolecules is a well known phenomenon. Frequently examined process to evaluate oxidative damage to macromolecules is lipid peroxidation (LPO), resulting from oxidative damage to membrane lipids. The aim of the study was to examine serum LPO level in hypothyroid (after total thyroidectomy) cancer patients subjected to ablative activities of 131I.
Materials and methods
The study was carried out in 21 patients (18 females and 3 males, average age 52.4 ± 16.5 years) after total thyroidectomy for papillary (17 patients) or follicular (4 patients) thyroid carcinoma. Hypothyroidism was confirmed by increased TSH blood concentration (BRAHMS, Germany), measured before 131I therapy. Activity of 2.8 - 6.9 GBq of 131I was administered to the patients orally as sodium iodide (OBRI, Poland). Concentrations of malondialdehyde + 4-hydroxyalkenals (MDA + 4-HDA), as an index of LPO (LPO-586 kit, Calbiochem, USA), were measured in blood serum just before 131I administration (day "0") and on the days 1-4 after 131I therapy. Sera from 23 euthyroid patients served as controls. Correlations between LPO and TSH or 131I activity were calculated.
Expectedly, serum LPO level, when measured before 131I therapy, was several times higher (p < 0.00001) in cancer patients than in healthy subjects, which is probably due to hypothyroidism caused by total thyroidectomy. However, we did not observe any differences between LPO levels after and before 131I therapy. LPO did not correlate with TSH concentration. In turn, negative correlation was found between 131I activity and LPO level on the day "2" after radioiodine treatment.
Radioiodine remnant ablation of differentiated thyroid cancer does not further increase oxidative damage to membrane lipids, at least early, after therapy.
Radioactive iodine is commonly administered following thyroidectomy for differentiated thyroid carcinoma to ablate the thyroid remnant. The optimal administered activity of radioiodine is unknown.
Adult subjects (n = 160) diagnosed with papillary or follicular thyroid carcinoma were randomly allocated to receive either 1100 MBq (30 mCi) or 3700 MBq (100 mCi) activity of radioiodine (131I) following thyroidectomy. The study participants were prepared for ablation using thyroid hormone withdrawal. Ablation was considered successful when serum thyroglobulin concentration was less than 1 ng/mL and no uptake was present in 131I scan. Ablation was successful following one administration of radioiodine in 42 (52%; 95% CI, 41% to 63%) of the 81 evaluable study participants who received 1100 MBq, and in 43 (56%, 45% to 67%) of the 77 subjects who received 3700 MBq activity (P = .61). There was no difference between the groups in the numbers of repeat radioiodine treatments needed to complete ablation (P = .27). The higher activity was associated with more nausea and taste disturbances, and a longer stay in a radioprotected isolation unit. None of the participants died from thyroid cancer during a median follow up of 51 months; three subjects in the 3700 MBq group and none in the 1100 MBq group were diagnosed with distant metastases during follow-up. In a meta-analysis of four randomized studies that compared the 1100 and 3700 MBq activities, the 1100 MBq activity tended to be associated with a higher risk of unsuccessful ablation (relative risk 1.148, 95% CI 0.974 to 1.353, P = .10).
The results provide no conclusive evidence that 3700 MBq activity is more effective for ablation of the thyroid remnant than 1100 MBq activity. The 3700 MBq activity is associated with more adverse effects.
Various studies have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH) for radioiodine remnant ablation. On this basis, rhTSH was approved in Europe for the radioiodine ablation of low-risk differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) during thyroid hormone therapy with L-thyroxine (L-T4). Moreover, in December 2007, the US Federal Drug Administration approved the use of rhTSH for adjuvant treatment with radioiodine in patients with DTC without evidence of metastatic thyroid cancer. Quality of life was found to be better with rhTSH preparation than with L-thyroxine withdrawal, thereby resulting in benefits for society as a whole. Furthermore, rhTSH for radioiodine remnant ablation results in a longer effective radioiodine half-life within remnant thyroid tissue and a lower specific absorbed dose in the blood and exposure of bone marrow to X-rays. More studies are required to establish the amount of radioiodine to be administered especially in high-risk patients.
thyroid cancer; thyrotropin; radioiodine (131I) remnant ablation (RRA); quality of life; ray exposure
Papillary carcinoma of the thyroid is the most common type of thyroid cancer and is associated with a good prognosis. Complications of treatment with surgery and radioiodine are uncommon. We report the case of a 13 year old boy who developed testicular damage following treatment with radioactive iodine 350 mCi for a papillary carcinoma of the thyroid. Four years after radioiodine treatment there has been no suggestion of recovery of spermatogenesis. Detailed follow-up studies of similarly treated young patients are required to define the incidence of this complication and to determine its reversibility.
A review of clinical and laboratory features of thyroid cancer, designed to help in a more precise selection of patients for operation, showed that factors contributing to a high index of suspicion of cancer include previous exposure to low doses of radiation, the presence of a firm, solitary thyroid nodule clearly different from the rest of the gland, a young patient, nodules that are “cold” on scan with radioiodine, and nodules that fail to regress after an adequate trial of thyroxine therapy. Factors contributing to a low index of suspicion of thyroid cancer include soft or cystic lesions, multinodular goiters, nodules that are “hot” on 131 I scan, and those that regress during thyroxine treatment.
When these factors are used to select patients for surgical operation, about 30 percent are found to have thyroid cancer.
Until more precise methods for preoperative diagnosis are established, it is suggested that this type of clinical selection may be very helpful in the management of patients with thyroid nodules or nontoxic goiter.
Background. False-positive pulmonary radioactive iodine uptake in the followup of differentiated thyroid carcinoma has been reported in patients with certain respiratory conditions. Patient Findings. We describe a case of well-differentiated papillary thyroid carcinoma treated by total thyroidectomy and radioiodine ablation therapy. Postablation radioiodine whole body scan and subsequent diagnostic radioiodine whole body scans have shown persistent uptake in the left hemithorax despite an undetectable stimulated serum thyroglobulin in the absence of interfering thyroglobulin antibodies. Contrast-enhanced chest computed tomography has confirmed that the abnormal pulmonary radioiodine uptake correlates with focal bronchiectasis. Summary. Bronchiectasis can cause abnormal chest radioactive iodine uptake in the followup of differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Conclusions. Recognition of potential false-positive chest radioactive iodine uptake, simulating pulmonary metastases, is needed to avoid unnecessary exposure to further radiation from repeated therapeutic doses of radioactive iodine.
The outcome in 110 patients first treated with radioiodine (mean dose 6.56 mCi) for hyperthyroid Graves' disease in 1980 was reviewed. In 23% of the patients the disease had not been controlled by the initial dose after 3 months, and 17% were given one or two more doses. Within 2 years 65% of the patients required replacement thyroxine therapy. Although about half of the patients were biochemically hypothyroid 3 months after the last dose of iodine 131, this condition was transient in a third of them; five of these patients even became hyperthyroid again. Patients with transient, as opposed to permanent, hypothyroidism at 3 months tended to be clinically euthyroid but to have residual palpable thyroid tissue and only a modest reduction in the serum thyroxine level. It is therefore recommended that patients not overtly hypothyroid 3 months after treatment with 131I be observed still longer before thyroxine replacement therapy is instituted.
The purpose of using a whole-body scanning after the radioactive I-131 treatment is to screen functional residual or metastatic thyroid tissues. In whole-body scanning of some patients, false positive radioiodine I-131 uptakes may be seen in physiological uptake regions or atypical localizations.
A 54 year-old woman underwent total thyroidectomy for papillary thyroid carcinoma. A positive appearance seen in the upper postero-lateral part of the right gluteal region was determined by a post-therapy I-131 whole body scan. The colour Doppler ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging features and histopathological characteristics of the excised lesion were presented. The lesion was demonstrated to be a foreign body granuloma.
Unexpected positive findings in the post-therapy I-131 whole body scan should be confirmed with other imaging modalities in order to avoid unnecessary treatments. In uncertain situations, the diagnosis should be established histopathologically.
thyroid cancer; false positive radioiodine uptake; post-therapy I-131 whole body scan; colour Doppler ultrasonography; magnetic resonance imaging
In 30–50% of patients with metastatic non-medullary thyroid cancer the metastases are not radioiodine-avid and so there is no effective treatment. Retinoids have demonstrated inhibition of thyroid tumor growth and induction of radioiodine uptake. The aim of our study was to assess benefits of the retinoic acid (RA) treatment to re-differentiate non-functional NMTC metastases.
Patients and Methods
In this prospective study, 53 patients with radioiodine non avid metastatic disease (45) or hyperthyroglobulinemia (8) were treated with 13-cis-retinoic acid (13-CRA) [1.0 mg/kg/day over 1st week and then 1.5 mg/kg] for six weeks prior to I-131 treatment performed under rhTSH stimulation. The re-differentiating effect of RA was evaluated by serum thyroglobulin (Tg) monitoring before and after cessation of RA treatment and by qualitative analysis of iodine uptake on the post-therapeutic whole body scan (rxWBS).
13-CRA induced radioiodine uptake in 9 (17%) of patients. In the univariate analysis neither the patient's gender, age, tumor histopathology, uptake in thyroid bed nor time since thyroid cancer diagnosis was associated with results of rxWBS.
41 (77%) patients were evaluable for Tg response before and after to 13-CRA treatment. There was a statistically significant increase in median Tg level (60 v. 90 ng/ml, p < 0.05). There was no difference in Tg increase between scintigraphic responders and non-responders.
13-CRA and RIT was repeated at least once in 8 of 9 scintigraphic responders. None of them showed tumor regression by radiological imaging within 12 months after the first treatment, 4/9 (44%) of them had disease progression.
13-CRA treatment was well-tolerated. All but one patient complained of at least one side effect the most prevalent being lip dryness (98%). All side effects were transient and resolved within 2 weeks after 13-CRA cessation.
Our results show that in patients with non-functional metastases from NMTC, 13-CRA is able to exert some re-differentiation effect by induction of radioiodine uptake in <20% of patients and increase of Tg serum level in about 30% of them. Nevertheless, this does not transfer into clinical benefit as it neither induces measurable tumor response nor prevents disease progression.
Previous studies demonstrated that preparation with recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH) for thyroid remnant ablation results in lower extrathyroidal radiation compared to hypothyroidism. The results of 50 radioiodine therapies (RITs) under rhTSH, regarding iodine half-life, were evaluated and compared with 50 RITs performed on patients with hypothyroidism following thyroxine withdrawal. The patients were treated with 3700 MBq (100 mCi) of 131I. Forty-eight hours after RIT, patients were measured with a radiation detector at a 1-meter (m) distance for evaluation of the effective dose (μSv/h). TSH and thyroglobulin (Tg) maximal values were also compared. rhTSH-stimulated patients had a significantly lower whole-body retention of 131I (8.5±7.3 μSv/h), extrapolated from the measurements of the effective dose at a 1-m distance, compared to endogenously stimulated patients (13.6±8.1 μSv/h; p=0.001). Furthermore, TSH mean and Tg median levels were significantly higher in the rhTSH-stimulated patients (89.9±15.3 mU/l and 7.7 ng/ml, respectively) compared to the hypothyroid group (59.2±25.1 mU/l and 3.3 ng/ml; p<0.001 and p=0.003, respectively). Compared to thyroid hormone withdrawal, the use of rhTSH prior to RIT was associated with significantly lower whole-body retention of 131I and with greater efficacy in reaching TSH levels greater than 30 mU/l, confirming data previously described.
iodine; ablative therapy; recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone; differentiated thyroid carcinoma
Large multinodular goiter (MNG) in elderly people is a common finding which can require intervention. The long-term effect of radioiodine therapy on thyroid volume (TV) and function after recombinant human (rh) TSH pre-treatment was evaluated.
After baseline evaluation, 40 subjects over 60 years old with a large MNG were treated with 131I up to the activity of 600 MBq. Nineteen patients were pretreated with rhTSH (0.1 mg on 2 consecutive days; group 1) while 21 subjects underwent treatment without rhTSH pretreatment (group 2). TV was monitored every 6–12 months by ultrasonography. The median follow-up period was 36 months.
At the baseline, the groups matched in terms of TV, 24-h radioiodine uptake (RAIU), urinary iodine and neck complaints. The number of subjects pretreated with anti-thyroid drugs was significantly (P = 0.01) greater in group 2 than in group 1; TSH was more suppressed (P = 0.003) and f-T3 was more elevated (P = 0.005) in group 2 than in group 1 patients. RhTSH increased 24-h RAIU in group 1 up to the baseline level observed in group 2. The 131I activity administered was similar in both groups. Adverse events were slight and similar in both groups. A permanent post-radioiodine toxic condition was reported only in 2 patients in group 2. After radioiodine therapy, hypothyroidism was observed in significantly more group 1 patients than group 2 patients (P = 0.002). While TV was reduced in both groups, the percentage TV reduction recorded at the last examination was significantly higher (P = 0.03) in group 1 than in group 2. MNG-related complaints were significantly reduced in both group 1 (P = 0.0001 vs baseline) and group 2 (P = 0.001) patients.
Low radioiodine activities after pretreatment with low-dosage rhTSH are able to reduce TV and improve MNG-related symptoms in elderly subjects.
Currently, there is no consensus on the necessity of repeated radioiodine therapy (RAI) in patients who show iodine uptake in the thyroid bed on a diagnostic whole-body scan (DxWBS) despite undetectable thyroglobulin (Tg) levels after remnant ablation. The present study investigated the clinical outcomes of scan-positive, Tg-negative patients (WBS+Tg-) who did or did not receive additional RAI.
We retrospectively reviewed 389 differentiated thyroid carcinoma patients who underwent a total thyroidectomy and received high-dose RAI from January 2003 through December 2005. The patients were classified according to surveillance DxWBS findings and TSH-stimulated Tg levels 6 to 12 months after the initial RAI.
Forty-four of the 389 patients (11.3%) showed thyroid bed uptake on a DxWBS despite negative Tg levels (WBS+Tg-). There was no difference in clinical and pathological parameters between WBS+Tg- and WBS-Tg- patients, except for an increased frequency of thyroiditis in the WBS+Tg- group. Among the 44 WBS+Tg- patients, 27 subjects were treated with additional RAI; 25 subjects showed no uptake in subsequent DxWBS. Two patients were evaluated only by ultrasonography (US) and displayed no persistent/recurrent disease. The other 17 patients received no further RAI; Eight patients and two patients showed no uptake and persistent uptake, respectively, on subsequent DxWBS. Six patients presented negative subsequent US findings, and one was lost to follow-up. Over the course of 53.2 ± 10.1 months, recurrence/persistence was suspicious in two patients in the treatment group.
There were no remarkable differences in clinical outcomes between observation and treatment groups of WBS+Tg- patients. Observation without repeated RAI may be an alternative management option for WBS+Tg- patients.
Iodine radioisotopes; Thyroglobulin; Thyroid neoplasms; Whole body scan