The diagnostic value of I-124-PET in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer

Ha T. T. Phan, Pieter L. Jager, Anne M. J. Paans, John T. M. Plukker, M. G. G. Sturkenboom, W. J. Sluiter, Bruce H. R. Wolffenbuttel, Rudi A. J. O. Dierckx, Thera P. Links*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate the clinical diagnostic value of iodine- 124 ( I-124)positron emission tomography ( PET) in patients with advanced differentiated thyroid carcinoma ( DTC) and to compare the I-124- PET imaging results with the I-131 wholebody scan ( WBS).

Materials and methods Twenty patients with histologically proven advanced DTC ( including T4, extra- nodal tumour growth, or distant metastases) underwent diagnostic (IWBS)-I-131, I-124- PET scan, and post-treatment I-131- WBS 4 months after ablation. The findings on the I-124- PET were compared with the findings on the diagnostic and post-therapeutic I-131- WBS and were also correlated with radiologic and/ or cytological investigations.

Results I-124- PET vs diagnostic I-131- WBS. Eleven patients showed uptake on the I-124- PET. Only 3 of these 11 patients also showed uptake on the diagnostic I-131 scan, but the uptake was more clearly visible and the abnormalities were more extensive on the I-124- PET. I-124- PET vs post-treatment I-131- WBS. Eleven patients showed uptake on the I-124- PET, which was also visible on the post-treatment scan in nine patients; in the other two patients, no uptake was observed on the post-treatment scan and no anatomical localisation could be confirmed. Two patients showed only uptake on the post-treatment scan without uptake on the I-124- PET: in one, the uptake was confirmed by MRI, and in the other, no anatomical localisation was found. In seven patients, no uptake was observed on both the scans.

Conclusion I-124- PET proved to be a superior diagnostic tool as compared to low-dose diagnostic I-131 scans and adequately predicted findings on subsequent high-dose post-treatment I-131 scans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-965
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May-2008


  • iodine-124
  • positron emission tomography
  • differentiated thyroid cancer
  • diagnostic value
  • I-131
  • PET

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