Thyroid uptake and scintigraphy using 99mTc pertechnetate: standardization in normal individuals

Sao Paulo Med J. 2002 Mar 7;120(2):45-8. doi: 10.1590/s1516-31802002000200004.


Context: Thyroid uptake and scintigraphy using 99mTc-pertechnetate has proven to be more advantageous than with 131I-iodide, since the images have better quality, the procedure is faster and the patient is submitted to a lower radiation dose.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to standardize a simple and fast methodology for performing thyroid uptake and scintigraphy and to determine the normal values for 99mTc- pertechnetate uptake.

Type of study: Prospective, non-randomized.

Setting: Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology, School of Medical Sciences, Campinas State University.

Participants: The study consisted of 47 normal individuals, 30 women and 17 men, with ages ranging from 19 to 61 years (mean of 33 years).

Procedures: The laboratory assessment of thyroid function consisted of serum dosages of ultra-sensitive thyroxin and thyrotrophin. Twenty minutes after an intravenous injection of 10 mCi (370 MBq) of 99mTc-pertechnetate, the images were obtained on a computerized scintillation camera equipped with a low-energy high-resolution parallel hole collimator.

Results: All the individuals were euthyroid both on clinical and laboratory evaluation. The baseline thyroid 99mTc-pertechnetate uptake ranged from 0.4 to 1.7%. The uptake values obtained in these normal individuals showed that 95% presented a thyroid uptake that ranged from 0.4 to 1.5% of the injected dose.

Conclusion: The assessment of thyroid structure and function using 99mTc-pertechnetate is a simple, fast and efficient method, which could easily become a part of the routine studies in nuclear medicine laboratories.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Reference Standards
  • Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m*
  • Thyroid Function Tests / standards
  • Thyroid Gland / diagnostic imaging*
  • Thyrotropin / blood*
  • Thyroxine / blood*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Thyrotropin
  • Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m
  • Thyroxine