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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Nov;86(11):5330-6.

Pretreatment with recombinant human TSH changes the regional distribution of radioiodine on thyroid scintigrams of nodular goiters.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Catharina Hospital, 5602 ZA Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Abstract

In a recent study, we demonstrated that pretreatment with a single, low dose of recombinant human TSH (rhTSH) doubles 24-h thyroid radioactive iodine uptake in patients with nodular goiter. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether rhTSH pretreatment induces changes in the regional distribution of radioiodine as visualized on thyroid scintigrams in these patients. Anterior planar thyroid 123I scintigrams were obtained in 26 patients with a nodular goiter (23 women and 3 men; age, 62 +/- 9 yr, mean +/- SD; thyroid weight, 165 +/- 72 g) 24 h after administration of a diagnostic dose of radioiodine. All patients were studied twice: first, without rhTSH pretreatment (baseline study), and second, after an im injection of 0.01 mg (n = 10) or 0.03 mg rhTSH (n = 16), given 24 h before radioiodine administration (rhTSH study). For quantification of regional differences in radioiodine uptake, a region of interest method was used. Upon visual inspection, baseline scintigrams showed a heterogeneous uptake of radioiodine. In general, rhTSH scintigrams also showed heterogeneous radioiodine uptake. In some patients, the distribution of radioiodine in the rhTSH scintigram was considerably more homogeneous than in the baseline scintigram. In a few patients, originally "cold" areas had changed into "hot" ones, whereas originally hot areas had changed into cold ones. Quantification of regional radioiodine uptake showed that pretreatment with rhTSH caused a larger increase in radioiodine uptake in relatively cold areas and a smaller increase in radioiodine uptake in relatively hot areas, compared with the increase in radioiodine uptake in the entire thyroid. In patients with a baseline serum TSH level of 0.5 mU/liter or lower, the increase in radioiodine uptake in relatively cold areas was significantly larger than in patients with a baseline serum TSH level higher than 0.5 mU/liter. In conclusion, a single, low dose of rhTSH not only doubled 24-h radioactive iodine uptake but also caused a more homogeneous distribution of radioiodine within the thyroid gland in patients with a nodular goiter by stimulating radioiodine uptake in relatively cold areas more than in relatively hot areas. This was most marked in patients with a low baseline serum TSH level. Our data suggest that pretreatment with rhTSH may improve the efficacy of radioiodine treatment for volume reduction of nodular goiters, especially in patients with a low baseline serum TSH level.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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