Thyroid scintigraphy in hyperthyroidism

Broome MR.

Clin Tech Small Anim Pract 2006;21:10-16.

Thyroid scintigraphy is a nuclear medicine procedure that produces a visual display of functional thyroid tissue based on the selective uptake of various radionuclides by thyroid tissue. Thyroid scintigraphy provides valuable information regarding both thyroid anatomy and physiology and can play an integral role in the diagnosis and management of cats with hyperthyroidism. Thyroid scintigraphy allows the direct visualization of the functional adenomatous thyroid tissue responsible for the development of hyperthyroidism. For this reason, thyroid scintigraphy will allow the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism before laboratory tests are consistently abnormal. Thyroid scintigraphy can also exclude a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism in cats with thyroid hormone elevations of nonthyroidal origin. Thyroid scintigraphy provides an additional method for determining the relative severity of thyroid disease that is less affected by the presence of concurrent nonthyroidal illness than laboratory evaluations. When treating hyperthyroid cats with radioiodine, the lowest effective dose should be administered. In an effort to administer the lowest radioiodine dose possible, the volume of adenomatous thyroid tissue present in the individual hyperthyroid cat should be considered. Thyroid scintigraphy provides an excellent method for evaluating the size of hyperfunctional thyroid tissue that is not limited by the presence of ectopic or intrathoracic thyroid tissue. Thyroid scintigraphy also provides valuable information in the diagnosis and evaluation of hyperthyroid cats with thyroid carcinoma.