Annals of Nuclear Medicine

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 147–152 | Cite as

Thallium-201 scintigraphy in the evaluation of thyroid nodules A retrospective study of 246 cases

  • Mitsuru Koizumi
  • Hideji Taguchi
  • Masabumi Goto
  • Toshiharu Nomura
  • Tsutomu Watari
Original Article


There is controversy at present concerning the value of Tl-201 scintigraphy in the diagnosis of malignant thyroid nodules. The usefulness of Tl-201 scintigraphy in differentiating benign from malignant nodules was evaluated retrospectively. Tl-201 scintigraphy was performed in 101 patients with malignant thyroid nodules and in 145 with benign nodules. Early and late images were examined to compare Tl-201 uptake in nodules and normal thyroid tissue. The visual method resulted in 74 % of sensitivity and 58 % of specificity for the detection of malignant nodules including incidental cancers. Excluding incidental cancers, 87 % sensitivity and 58 % specificity were achieved. Small cancers, including incidental cancers less than 1.5 cm in diameter and small number of viable tumor cells in a large tumor also gave negative Tl-201 scintigraphic results. Forty-two percent of the benign lesions gave false positive Tl-201 scintigraphic results.

It is concluded that Tl-201 scintigraphy is a sensitive and useful method to use in diagnosing malignant thyroid nodules, but is not a specific method even with late scan, for the detection of malignant thyroid nodules.

Key words

thallium-201 thyroid malignancies 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitsuru Koizumi
    • 1
  • Hideji Taguchi
    • 1
  • Masabumi Goto
    • 1
  • Toshiharu Nomura
    • 1
  • Tsutomu Watari
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of RadiologyDokkyo Medical Univ. MibuTochigiJapan

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