Increasing the yield of recombinant thyroid-stimulating hormone-stimulated 2-(18-fluoride)-flu-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography-CT in patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma

Department of Nuclear Medicine, St James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds, UK.
The British journal of radiology (Impact Factor: 2.03). 10/2012; 85(1018):e805-13. DOI: 10.1259/bjr/26733491
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of recombinant thyroid-stimulating hormone (rTSH)-stimulated 2-(18-fluoride)-flu-2-deoxy-D-glucose ((18)F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)-CT in detecting recurrence in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer.

Consecutive (18)F-FDG PET-CT scans performed with rTSH stimulation between 2007 and 2010 in patients with a history of papillary or follicular thyroid carcinoma were reviewed. PET-CT findings were correlated with thyroglobulin levels, and histological, clinical and radiological follow-up.

58 rTSH PET-CT scans were performed in 47 patients with a previous thyroidectomy and radioiodine ablation. The only indication for PET-CT was a raised thyroglobulin level in 46 of 58 scans, with the remainder for characterisation of equivocal radiology or staging. 25 (43%) of PET-CT scans were positive for recurrent disease. Histological correlation was available for 21 (36%) scans. The overall sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 69%, 76%, 72% and 73%, respectively. Median unstimulated thyroglobulin in true-positive scans was 33 µg l(-1) and 2.2 µg l(-1) in the remainder (p=0.12). 4 of 35 (11%) patients with unstimulated thyroglobulin levels <10 µg l(-1) had true-positive scans. Median stimulated thyroglobulin in true-positive scans was 320 µg l(-1), and 10 µg l(-1) in the remainder (p=0.046), with no positive scans with a stimulated thyroglobulin <8 µg l(-1). PET-CT directly influenced patient management in 17/58 (29%) scans.

rTSH PET-CT is a useful imaging technique for detecting disease recurrence in patients with iodine-resistant differentiated thyroid cancer. Low stimulated thyroglobulin levels are potentially useful in identifying patients unlikely to benefit from a PET-CT scan.

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Available from: Andrew Frederick Scarsbrook, Sep 12, 2015