A Neck-Thyroid Phantom with Small Sizes of Thyroid Remnants for Postsurgical I-123 and I-131 SPECT/CT Imaging

Life (Basel). 2023 Apr 6;13(4):961. doi: 10.3390/life13040961.


Post-surgical I-123 and I-131 SPECT/CT imaging can provide information on the presence and sizes of thyroid remnants and/or metastasis for an accurate re-staging of disease to apply an individualized radioiodine therapy. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a neck-thyroid phantom with small sizes of thyroid remnants to be utilized for the optimization of post-surgical SPECT/CT imaging. 3D printing and molding techniques were used to develop the hollow human-shaped and -sized phantom which enclosed the trachea, esophagus, cervical spine, clavicle, and multiple detachable sections with different sizes of thyroid remnant in clinically relevant positions. CT images were acquired to evaluate the morphology of the phantom and the sizes of remnants. Triple-energy window scattered and attenuation corrected SPECT images were acquired for this phantom and for a modified RS-542 commercial solid neck-thyroid phantom. The response and sensitivity of the SPECT modality for different administered I-123 and I-131 activities within the equal-size remnants of both phantoms were calculated. When we compared the phantoms, using the same radiopharmaceutical and similar activities, we found that the measured sensitivities were comparable. In all cases, the I-123 counting rate was higher than the I-131 one. This phantom with capabilities to insert different small sizes of remnants and simulate different background-to-remnants activity ratios can be utilized to evaluate postsurgical thyroid SPECT/CT imaging procedures.

Keywords: nuclear imaging; postsurgical diagnostic thyroid imaging; thyroid remnants; thyroid-neck phantom.