Sensitivity and Specificity of Dual-Isotope 99mTc-Tetrofosmin and 123I Sodium Iodide Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) in Hyperparathyroidism

PLoS One. 2015 Jun 16;10(6):e0129194. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129194. eCollection 2015.


Purpose: Despite recommendations for 99mTc-tetrofosmin dual tracer imaging for hyperparathyroidism in current guidelines, no report was published on dual-isotope 99mTc-tetrofosmin and 123I sodium iodide single-photon-emission-computed-tomography (SPECT). We evaluated diagnostic accuracy and the impact of preoperative SPECT on the surgical procedures and disease outcomes.

Methods: Analysis of 70 consecutive patients with primary hyperparathyroidism and 20 consecutive patients with tertiary hyperparathyroidism. Imaging findings were correlated with surgical results. Concomitant thyroid disease, pre- and postoperative laboratory measurements, histopathological results, type and duration of surgery were assessed.

Results: In primary hyperparathyroidism, SPECT had a sensitivity of 80% and a positive predictive value of 93% in patient-based analysis. Specificity was 99% in lesion-based analysis. Patients with positive SPECT elicit higher levels of parathyroid hormone and higher weight of resected parathyroids than SPECT-negative patients. Duration of parathyroid surgery was on average, approximately 40 minutes shorter in SPECT-positive than in SPECT-negative patients (89 ± 46 vs. 129 ± 41 minutes, p = 0.006); 86% of SPECT-positive and 50% of SPECT-negative patients had minimal invasive surgery (p = 0.021). SPECT had lower sensitivity (60%) in patients with tertiary hyperparathyroidism; however, 90% of these patients had multiple lesions and all of these patients had bilateral lesions.

Conclusion: Dual-isotope SPECT with 99mTc-tetrofosmin and 123I sodium iodide has a high diagnostic value in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism and allows for saving of operation time. Higher levels of parathyroid hormone and higher glandular weight facilitated detection of parathyroid lesion. Diagnostic accuracy of preoperative imaging was lower in patients with tertiary hyperparathyroidism.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism / diagnosis*
  • Hyperparathyroidism / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hyperparathyroidism / surgery
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / diagnosis
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / diagnostic imaging
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Primary / surgery
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Parathyroid Glands / diagnostic imaging
  • Parathyroid Glands / pathology
  • Parathyroid Glands / surgery
  • Preoperative Period
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sodium Iodide
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Organotechnetium Compounds
  • technetium tc-99m tetrofosmin
  • Sodium Iodide

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.