PET/CT Can Help Detect Recurrent Thyroid Disease

August 15, 2014

Using PET/CT imaging can help clinicians detect recurrent thyroid disease among patients who have negative radioiodine scans.

PET/CT can accurately detect recurrent thyroid disease not demonstrated by radioiodine scans, according to a presentation that will be given in September at the Royal College of Radiologists Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held in London, UK.

Researchers sought to determine the usefulness of PET/CT in detecting recurrent thyroid disease in patients who had a negative thyroid scan, but raised serum thyroglobulin levels. They performed a three-year retrospective study that involved 23 patients (average age, 54.2) who had thyroid cancer. All patients had a negative radioiodine scan and raised serum thyroglobulin levels.

All patients (11 males, 12 females) underwent PET/CT examination. The researchers found that for 12 patients (52.2 percent), the PET/CT detected recurrent thyroid lesions or distant metastases that had not been seen on radioiodine studies. There was also a statistically significant difference in the serum thyroglobulin levels between patients who were found to have positive lesions and those who did not have lesions.

The researchers concluded that the PET/CT imaging could accurately detect recurrent thyroid disease that was not found with radioiodine scans.