Differentiation of benign from malignant nodules by accumulation of Tc-99m pertechnetate using TI-201 delayed scans

Clin Nucl Med. 1998 Aug;23(8):514-6. doi: 10.1097/00003072-199808000-00004.


Thyroid carcinoma usually is characterized by a nonfunctioning or "cold" nodule depicted on the Tc-99m scan. Twelve patients with functioning "hot" thyroid nodules underwent thyroidectomy (nine hemithyroidectomies, two nodulectomies, and one subtotal thyroidectomy). Histologic examination revealed that five patients (42%) had malignant nodules (papillary carcinoma in two and follicular carcinoma in three). Of the seven patients with benign nodules, five had follicular adenoma and two had adenomatous hyperplasia. TI-201 scanning (early and delayed) was performed at the same time as Tc-99m scanning. Only one of the seven benign nodules showed accumulation on the delayed TI-201 scan, whereas all five malignant nodules showed accumulation. The delayed TI-201 scan is useful for the differentiation of benign from malignant nodules that show accumulation of Tc-99m pertechnetate.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m*
  • Thallium Radioisotopes*
  • Thyroid Gland / diagnostic imaging
  • Thyroid Gland / pathology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thyroid Nodule / diagnostic imaging*
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Time Factors


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Thallium Radioisotopes
  • Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m