Technical considerations in in vivo thyroid studies

Semin Nucl Med. 1978 Jan;8(1):43-57. doi: 10.1016/s0001-2998(78)80006-3.


Radionuclide thyroid studies, although among the oldest of clinical nuclear medicine procedures, continue to show growth and change. In the 7 years since thyroid studies were last reviewed in the Seminars, there have been marked changes in the preferred ways of doing these studies. In the areas of radiopharmaceuticals, 131I remains a useful agent in selected circumstances, but 99mTc-pertechnetate has become the agent of choice for imaging applications. Iodine-123 represents an exciting possibility for the future if problems in cost and radiopurity can be solved. New data on the dosimetry of the various agents allow for more rational choices among them, and useful guidelines can now be given for the use of these radiopharmaceuticals in problem areas such as pregnancy, nursing, and the pediatric age group. The scintillation camera with a pinhole collimator has become the instrument of choice for thyroid imaging, and the use of computers and the availability of systems for fluorescent scanning have added new possibilities for thyroid evaluation. Ancillary techniques such as ultrasound scanning also offer the possibility of improved diagnostic accuracy. These developments are reviewed in the context of clinical studies, together with a discussion of specific clinical applications and a brief look to the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fluorescence
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Pregnancy
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radioisotopes
  • Radionuclide Imaging / instrumentation
  • Radionuclide Imaging / methods
  • Technetium / metabolism
  • Thallium
  • Thyroid Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Thyroid Gland / metabolism


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Radioisotopes
  • Technetium
  • Thallium