Predictive value of scintigraphic (semi-)quantitative thyroid parameters on radioiodine therapy outcome in hyperthyroid cats

Volckaert V, Vandermeulen E, Duchateau L, et al.

J Feline Med Surg 2017:1098612×17713854.

Objectives The outcome of radioiodine therapy in hyperthyroid cats is suspected to be influenced by multiple factors. The degree of activity of the thyroid gland, represented by uptake of sodium pertechnetate or tracer activities of radioiodine by the thyroid gland on thyroid scintigraphy, has been suggested in the literature as one of those. Thyroid gland pertechnetate uptake can be represented by (semi-)quantitative factors such as the thyroid to salivary gland (T/S) ratio, the thyroid to background (T/B) ratio and the percentage technetium uptake by the thyroid glands (%TcU). The aim of this study was to investigate a possible relationship between these thyroid scan parameters and radioiodine therapy outcome. Methods Sodium pertechnetate thyroid scans of 75 hyperthyroid cats were retrospectively evaluated and statistical analysis was performed with and without correction for injected radioiodine activity. Three different background regions of interest (ROIs) were used to calculate the T/B ratio and %TcU: ‘neck’, ‘circle’ and ‘copy ROI’. Results Higher T/S ratios were found to be significantly related to a persistent hyperthyroid outcome in both analyses. For the T/S ratio, a threshold value of 5.4 was determined, with a sensitivity of 73% and a specificity of 59%. An increased risk for persistent hyperthyroidism compared with a final euthyroid outcome with an increased T/Bcircle ratio was only found to be significant without correction for the activity of radioiodine administered. For the %TcU no statistical significance was reached. Regarding a low total thyroxine outcome, no significant relationships with any of the investigated parameters were found. Conclusions and relevance The findings of this study suggest that semi-quantification of thyroid gland uptake is best performed using the T/S ratio. A T/S ratio 5.4 is a possible indicator for an increased risk of persistent hyperthyroidism.