Aim: This study was performed to determine the results of ablative radioiodine therapy (RIT) when the achieved dose in the thyroid was above 200 Gy and to characterize predictive factors for treatment outcome.
Patients, methods: A total of 571 consecutive patients were observed for 12 months between July 2001 and June 2004. Inclusion criteria were a confirmed diagnosis Graves' disease, compensation of hyperthyroidism and withdrawal of antithyroid drugs two days before preliminary radioiodine-testing and RIT. The intended dose was 250 Gy and the therapeutically achieved dose was calculated from serial uptake measurements. The end-point measure was thyroid function 12 months after RIT; success was defined as elimination of hyperthyroidism. The relation between success rate and the achieved dose, thyroid volume, age and sex of patients, TSH- and TRAb-values and presence of ophthalmopathy was analysed.
Results: Relief from hyperthyroidism was achieved in 96% of patients who received more than 200 Gy, even for thyroid volumes >40 ml. The success of ablative RIT was not influenced by age or sex of patients, or by TSH- or TRAb values or concomitant ophthalmopathy. The mean achieved dose in the thyroid was 298 Gy with a standard deviation of 74.6 Gy.
Conclusion: To achieve a dose of over 200 Gy with the above standard deviation, we recommend calculating an intended dose of 250 Gy and using a dosimetric approach with early and late uptake values in the radioiodine test, to allow early therapeutic intervention should the posttherapeutic thyroid dose fall unexpectedly below 200 Gy.