Indian Journal of Nuclear Medicine
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 221-226

Role of single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography in diagnostic iodine-131 scintigraphy before initial radioiodine ablation in differentiated thyroid cancer

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Anish Bhattacharya
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-3919.151650

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Objectives: The study was performed to evaluate the incremental value of single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) over planar radioiodine imaging before radioiodine ablation in the staging, management and stratification of risk of recurrence (ROR) in differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) patients. Materials and Methods: Totally, 83 patients (21 male, 62 female) aged 17-75 (mean 39.9) years with DTC were included consecutively in this prospective study. They underwent postthyroidectomy planar and SPECT/CT scans after oral administration of 37-114 MBq iodine-131 (I-131). The scans were interpreted as positive, negative or suspicious for tracer uptake in the thyroid bed, cervical lymph nodes and sites outside the neck. In each case, the findings on planar images were recorded first, without knowledge of SPECT/CT findings. Operative and pathological findings were used for postsurgical tumor-node-metastasis staging. The tumor staging was reassessed after each of these two scans. Results: Single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography localized radioiodine uptake in the thyroid bed in 9/83 (10.8%) patients, neck nodes in 24/83 (28.9%) patients and distant metastases in 8/83 (9.6%) patients in addition to the planar study. Staging was changed in 8/83 (9.6%), ROR in 11/83 (13.2%) and management in 26/83 (31.3%) patients by the pretherapy SPECT/CT in comparison to planar imaging. SPECT/CT had incremental value in 32/83 patients (38.5%) over the planar scan. Conclusion: Single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography is feasible during a diagnostic I-131 scan with a low amount of radiotracer. It improved the interpretation of pretherapy I-131 scintigraphy and changed the staging and subsequent patient management.

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