Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Nucl Med. 2014 Oct;28(8):736-45. doi: 10.1007/s12149-014-0867-0. Epub 2014 Jun 20.

Parathyroid dual tracer subtraction scintigraphy: small regions method for quantitative assessment of parathyroid adenoma uptake.

Author information

Department of Nuclear Medicine, National Cancer Research Center of Serbia, Pasterova 14, 11000, Belgrade, Serbia,



The aim was quantitative assessment of parathyroid adenoma (PTA) uptake in dual tracer dynamic scintigraphy.


In 78 patients, median age 58 (19-80) years, surgically treated for primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), with parathyroid hormone median 125 (70-658) pg/ml, we performed preoperative parathyroid scintigraphy, following EANM guidelines of subtraction and double-phase protocol (2009) using two tracers: Tc-99m pertechnetate and Tc-99m MIBI. In addition to standard subtraction processing and visual interpretation of delayed MIBI planar images of neck and mediastinum in oblique sections (positions according to ultrasound PTA localisation), we developed Submarine processing software that enables selecting custom regions grid sizes ≥6 mm (as this solution was not present in commercial software) to follow time activity curve changes in thyroid tissue and PTA. Histopathology in 53/78 patients revealed PHPT and in 25/78 patients thyroid nodular disease only, and thyroid malignancy occurred in total of 15/78 (19 %) patients. PHPT group included 44 solitary PTA, 8 patients with hyperplasia and one parathyroid carcinoma. The median macroscopic volume of PTA was 717.5 (15-6125) mm(3). Concomitant PHPT and thyroid nodular disease occurred in 24/53 patients and among them 8 patients had thyroid malignancies.


PTA showed typical pattern of late peak on time activity curves characterized by median start time on 15 (10-25) min, the peak amplitude mean 19 (±5) % above thyroid declining washout curve, and duration of peak 6 (4-10) min, allowing PTA to "emerge" like submarine, independent from thyroid tissue and lesions. The ratio of PTA-to-normal thyroid uptake at peak maximum was 1.35 (±0.21). The thyroid TACs results of normal 29/78 (37 %) patients, benign nodular 34/78 (44 %) patients, and malignancy in 15 (19 %) patients were all presented by declining exponential curves. The slope analysis of TACs in normal thyroid tissue, thyroid benign and malignant lesions (linear fitted logarithm of TAC) showed no difference (the same negative slope: -0.04). Submarine processing was sensitive in detection of small lesions, in hyperplasia, and concomitant thyroid nodular disease.


The novel Submarine processing confirmed specific PHPT pattern and was effective in the group with potential pitfalls of standard interpretation, increasing sensitivity and specificity of standard processing subtraction algorithm. Prolonged MIBI accumulation was present in malignant as well as benign thyroid nodules with identical TAC slope.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center