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A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Affiliated to the and to the International Research Group of Immunoscintigraphy
Indexed/Abstracted in: Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 2,413
ENDOCRINOLOGY - I
Meller J., Becker W.
From the Department of Nuclear Medicine Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany
Iodine deficiency and iodine deficiency disorders are still present in several parts of Europe. Sonography is neither specific in the diagnosis nor sensitive in the evaluation of the amount of autonomous thyroid tissue. Thyroidal autonomy is defined as a functional state of the thyroid and therefore only functional scintigraphic imaging, preferably performed with 99mTc-pertechnetate (99mTcO4-), will offer both high sensitivity and specificity in its diagnosis. Recently the cloning and characterisation of the Na+/I- symporter (NIS) offered a deeper understanding of iodine and pertechnetate uptake in the thyroid gland. Overexpression of the Na+/I- symporter following activation of the adenylate-cyclase-cAMP-cascade has been demonstrated in hot nodules, which gives for the first time an explanation for the enhanced iodine clearance of autonomous thyroidal tissue on a molecular level. The scintigraphic evaluation of thyroidal autonomy is performed both as a quantitative and qualitative thyroid scintigraphy, using a gamma camera fitted with an on-line computer system. A strong and linear correlation between the global 99mTc-pertechnetate thyroid uptake (TCTU) and 123I clearance has been recognised. Therefore TCTU-values can be used as a reliable equivalent of the iodine clearance in the evaluation of actual thyroid function. The clinical value of the TCTU in the diagnosis of thyroidal autonomy is limited because it represents iodine clearance of both normal and autonomous tissue. As a consequence scintigraphic diagnosis and quantification of autonomy can only be established if the global 99mTc-pertechnetate thyroid uptake under suppression (TCTUs) is determined. This method is sensitive in risk stratification of spontaneous or iodine induced hyperthyroidism, in the estimation of the target volume prior to radioiodine therapy independently of its distribution and in the evaluation of therapeutic success after definitive therapy.