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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular imaging 2011 October;55(5):560-6


lingua: Inglese

An analytical model for improving absorbed dose calculation accuracy in non spherical autonomous functioning thyroid nodule

Amato E. 1, Lizio D. 2, Ruggeri R. M. 3, Raniolo M. 1, Campennì A. 1, Baldari S. 1

1 Unit of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiological Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy; 2 Department of Physics, University of Messina, Messina, Italy; 3 Unit of Endocrinology, Clinical Experimental Department of Medicine and Pharmacology. University of Messina, Messina, Italy


AIM: Patients candidate to radioiodine treatment of autonomous functioning thyroid nodule (AFTN) are characterized by a wide range of nodule volumes with different shapes. To optimize the treatment, pretherapeutic dosimetry should account also for the dependence of deposited energy on the nodule geometry.
METHODS: We developed a Monte Carlo code in Geant4 to simulate the interaction of beta and gamma radiations emitted by Na-131I into ellipsoidal volumes of soft tissue homogeneously uptaking the radionuclide, surrounded by a simplified antropomorphic phantom. We simulated 9 volumes between 0.1 and 50 cm3, each one with 8 different ellipsoidal shapes. We considered the data of 10 patients affected by AFTN, whose nodule volumes were in the range 1-40 cm3, who underwent radioiodine therapy following the traditional dosimetric approach. The patients underwent ultrasonographic (US) study, in order to determine the nodule volume, and radioiodine thyroid uptake measurements between 3 and 168 hours after radioiodine tracer dose administration.
RESULTS:We found an analytical relationship between the average deposited energy and the ellipsoid’s semiaxes and we included it in the formula for the calculation of activity to be administered, A0. For the 10 patients studied, A0 calculated with our approach ranges from +9% to -2% with respect to the one calculated with the traditional formula.
CONCLUSION: The proposed model, accounting for the dependence of beta and gamma absorbed fractions from nodule volume and shape, can lead to a more accurate estimation of A0 during AFTN therapy.
Since the measurement of nodule axes is routinely obtained from pretherapeutic US, our approach can be introduced in the clinical practice without changing the diagnostic pre-therapeutic protocol.

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