Are posttherapy radioiodine scans informative and do they influence subsequent therapy of patients with differentiated thyroid cancer?

V. Fatourechi, I. D. Hay, B. P. Mullan, G. A. Wiseman, G. Z. Eghbali-Fatourechi, L. M. Thorson, C. A. Gorman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

83 Scopus citations


Posttherapy scans (PTS) with a gamma camera are typically used after therapeutic doses of 131I to visualize metastases that may not be seen with lower dose diagnostic scans. During a 16-month period, we studied 81 patients (64 with papillary thyroid cancer and 17 with follicular thyroid cancer), who had both a diagnostic wholebody scan (131I dose 3 mCi) and a PTS. A total of 117 PTS were evaluated. At the time of PTS, clinical or radiologic evidence of metastatic or residual disease was present in 68 patients (84%). The anatomic sites of known disease included, neck (63), mediastinum (23), lung (35), bone (14), trachea (16), esophagus (5), and brain (2). PTS showed focal areas of abnormal uptake not seen in diagnostic scans in 15 scans (13%). Areas with abnormal new uptake included: neck (5), lung (5), mediastinum (4), bone (2), and adrenal (1). In 7 patients (9%) the PTS results impacted future decisions regarding plans for subsequent diagnostic scanning and 131I therapy or changed the patient's risk group category. In conclusion: (1) 13% of 117 PTS demonstrated abnormal foci of 131I uptake not seen on pretherapy scans and (2) PTS changed management strategy in 9% of the studied patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-577
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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