¹²⁴I PET/CT in the pretherapeutic staging of differentiated thyroid carcinoma: comparison with posttherapy ¹³¹I SPECT/CT

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2013 May;40(5):693-700. doi: 10.1007/s00259-012-2331-5. Epub 2013 Jan 23.


Purpose: To compare pretherapy (124)I PET/CT and posttherapy (131)I SPECT/CT in the identification of pathological lesions and the staging of patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma.

Methods: (124)I SPECT with low-dose CT in addition to a standard whole-body scan was performed 5 days following (131)I therapy with the administration of 1,110-7,728 MBq. Pretherapy (124)I PET/CT was done 24 h and 96 h after oral ingestion of 20-28 MBq, including a noncontrast high-dose CT scan. Scans were evaluated by two independent experienced nuclear physicians. In addition to the total number of lesions found, patient-based analyses and lesion-based analyses were performed to ascertain the discrepancies between the findings of the two scanning techniques, as well as to evaluate the clinical impact of the findings.

Results: A group of 20 consecutive patients were analysed. In the lesion-based analysis, a total of 62 foci were found with all modalities together. Of these, (124)I PET/CT found 57 (92 %), (131)I SPECT/CT 50 (81 %) and planar imaging 39 (63 %). In the patient-based analysis, in 50 % of patients complete concordance between the findings of (124)I PET and (131)I SPECT was seen, in 5 % complete discordance and in the remaining 45 % partial discordance, i.e. a focus or some foci seen with both modalities but another or others seen more or less with one or other modality. In 5 of the 20 patients (25 %), tumour stage was changed according to the findings of one of the modalities. In 60 % of these patients this was only with the findings of (124)I PET/CT.

Conclusion: This study showed that (124)I PET/CT is preferred over (131)I imaging for staging differentiated thyroid carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multimodal Imaging*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / therapy
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Young Adult


  • Iodine Radioisotopes