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J Endocrinol Invest. 2011 Mar;34(3):201-5. doi: 10.3275/7408. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

A study of the efficacy of radioiodine therapy with individualized dosimetry in Graves' disease: need to retarget the radiation committed dose to the thyroid.

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  • 1Medical and Radiometabolic Therapy Unit, DIMI University of Genoa, Viale Benedetto XV 6, 16132 Genoa, Italy.


Although Iodine-131 (131I) therapy is fully validated for Graves' disease (GD), there is debate about radioiodine amount to be administered (prescribed activity), as well as the use of individualized dosimetry vs fixed 131I activity. The clinical outcome of 119 GD patients treated with 131I from 2003 to 2008 has been evaluated. The prescribed activity was calculated according to a dosimetric protocol taking into account several variables, including thyroid volume reduction during treatment. In addition, we performed a simulation according to other dosimetric protocols, by calculating the corresponding prescribed activities. The patients were followed up for at least 12 months after treatment. In the first period of observation (2003), a 120-200 Gray (Gy) radiation dose to the thyroid was prescribed, according to the guidelines published by the Italian Societies of Endocrinology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Physics: hyperthyroidism cure with a single radioiodine administration was obtained in 53% of patients. This outcome raised up to 89% when a higher radiation dose to the target (200- 250 Gy) was prescribed, although the administered activities were still lower, as a rule, than the most commonly employed fixed activities (400-600 Mega-Becquerel--MBq). Our method showed a high level of individual dose optimisation, particularly when compared to simplified methods. In conclusion, the protocol adopted in this study ensures a satisfactory rate of hyperthyroidism cure, while administering quite low 131I activities, provided that an adequate committed radiation dose to the thyroid is prescribed. In this context, the dose indication given by the aforementioned guidelines should probably be revised.

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