Annals of Nuclear Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 63–67 | Cite as

Differentiated thyroid cancer: comparison of therapeutic iodine 131 biological elimination after discontinuation of levothyroxine versus administration of recombinant human thyrotropin

  • Dimitris Papadimitriou
  • Sofia Kottou
  • Loukia Oros
  • Ioannis Ilias
  • Michael Molfetas
  • Virginia Tsapaki
  • Antonis Perris
  • Ioulia Christakopoulou
Original Article


The biological elimination of therapeutic131I in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC), post total or near-total thyroidectomy, was compared after withholding levothyroxine suppression against administration of recombinant human thyrotropin without stopping levothyroxine. In 163 patients (group G1) levothyroxine was withheld before131I therapy: in 138 patients the tumor was limited to the thyroid bed (group G1.1) and in 25 patients metastases were present (group G1.2). A second group of patients (G2; n = 28) received131I therapy after administration of recombinant human thyrotropin without stopping levothyroxine. Mean retained131I activity (as a percentage of the administered dose) was 5%-29% (group G1.1), 20%-43% (group G1.2) and 1 %-17% (group G2). The effective half-life of131I was 0.59-0.69 days (group G1.1), 0.87-1.22 days (group G1.2) and 0.38-0.44 days (group G2). In conclusion, the use of recombinant human thyrotropin to prepare patients with thyroid cancer for therapy with131I shortens its effective half-life and reduces its retained activity compared to preparation with discontinuation of levothyroxine suppression.

Key words

131thyroid cancer retained activity effective half-life 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitris Papadimitriou
    • 1
  • Sofia Kottou
    • 2
  • Loukia Oros
    • 1
  • Ioannis Ilias
    • 3
  • Michael Molfetas
    • 4
  • Virginia Tsapaki
    • 5
  • Antonis Perris
    • 6
  • Ioulia Christakopoulou
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineWhite Cross General HospitalPiraeusGreece
  2. 2.Department of Medical Physics, Medical SchoolUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology, Medical SchoolUniversity of PatrasRion-PatrasGreece
  4. 4.Department of Medical PhysicsEvagelismos HospitalAthensGreece
  5. 5.Department of Medical PhysicsKonstantopoulio-Agia Olga HospitalAthensGreece
  6. 6.Department of Radiology, Aretaieion HospitalUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  7. 7.Department of Nuclear MedicineSotiria General HospitalAthensGreece

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