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J Nucl Med. 2000 Jul;41(7):1198-202.

Absence of thyroid stunning after diagnostic whole-body scanning with 185 MBq 131I.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York, USA.


There has been recent controversy regarding the optimal protocol for imaging and ablation of post-thyroidectomy patients. Several authors have suggested that a scanning dose of 185-370 MBq (5-10 mCi) (131)I may be capable of producing a stunning effect on thyroid tissue that may interfere with the uptake and efficacy of the subsequent ablation dose of radioiodine. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a 185-MBq (5 mCi) diagnostic dose of (131)I produces a visually apparent stunning effect 72 h before (131)I ablation therapy.


One hundred twenty-two consecutive post-thyroidectomy patients for differentiated thyroid carcinoma received a 185-MBq (5 mCi) diagnostic dose of (131)I followed by a whole-body diagnostic scan at 72 h. On the same day the diagnostic scan was completed, the patient was admitted to the hospital and received an (131)I ablation therapy dose of 5550 MBq (150 mCi) in most cases. A postablation, whole-body scan was obtained at 72 h and compared with the previous diagnostic scan for any visual evidence of stunning.


No cases of visually apparent thyroid stunning were observed on any of the postablation scans with regard to the number of (131)I foci identified or the relative intensity of (131)I uptake seen.


Diagnostic whole-body scanning can be performed effectively with a 185-MBq (5 mCi) dose of (131)I 72 h before radioiodine ablation without concern for thyroid stunning.

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