Introduction: Radioiodine therapy is a standard procedure in thyroid autonomy treatment. Discrepancies in the visual comparisons of the scintigraphies prepared for this purpose using Tc-99m-O4- and I-131 have been known for years.In this study a new method is used to calculate and perform a quantitative comparison of both uptakes using subtraction analysis and 3D imaging. The results and their causes are discussed together with practice-relevant conclusions for better clinical results.
Material and Methods: The new method was used in 38 patients with thyroid autonomies for the subtraction analysis of standardized pretherapeutic and intratherapeutic scintigraphies. The parametric distribution of activity was calculated absolutely and as a percentage and displayed three-dimensionally. These results were compared with the visual assessment of the different scintigraphies by the experts. Inclusion criteria were pretherapeutic and intratherapeutic hyperthyroidism without medication affecting the thyroid. The time difference between acquiring the scintigraphies was 28 days maximum.
Results: Activity distribution was visually discrepant in 39.5% of cases. 60.5% displayed comparable uptake. The calculated values showed reversed results after applying the new method. The results using our method show a higher rate of calculated discrepancies compared with visual analysis.
Conclusion: Accurate functional imaging of the thyroid is next to further aspects very important in establishing the diagnosis and deciding about the therapy activity for thyroid treatment. In combination with clinical symptoms and laboratory values, Tc-99m-O4 - scintigram can be used for an orientated, preliminary assessment of functional disorders of the thyroid. But because of the higher rate of found discrepancies, the solely use of Tc-99m-O4 - scintigram is not always capable for exact and reliable diagnosis. The known reason for this is most probably due to the different biokinetics of both radiopharmaceuticals, which can be imaged more sensitively with this method. Consequently, a scintigram should be performed in the pretherapeutic radioiodine uptake test. Despite higher costs and radiation exposure, alternatively, pretherapeutic use of other diagnostic iodine isotopes like I-123 or -124 should be discussed, because they could overcome the limitation of the different biokinetics. Following this approach the preliminary assessment using Tc-99m-O4 - scintigraphy can be precised and double checked to improve diagnostic confi dence and treatment results for a better outcome of the patients.