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Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia

On-line version ISSN 1677-9487


HALL, Nathan C.  and  KLOOS, Richard T.. PET imaging in differentiated thyroid cancer: where does it fit and how do we use it?. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab [online]. 2007, vol.51, n.5, pp.793-805. ISSN 1677-9487.

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a rapidly evolving imaging modality that has gained widespread acceptance in oncology, with several radionuclides applicable to thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer patients have been studied most commonly using 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET, with perhaps the greatest utility being the potential localization of tumor in differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) patients who are radioiodine whole body scan (WBS) negative and thyroglobulin (Tg) positive. Also of value is the identification of patients unlikely to benefit from additional 131I therapy and identification of patients at highest risk of disease-specific mortality, which may prompt more aggressive therapy or enrollment in clinical trials. Emerging data suggest that PET/CT fusion studies provide increased accuracy and modify the treatment plan in a significant number of DTC cases when compared to PET images alone. However, studies documenting improvements in survival and tumor recurrence attributable to FDG-PET imaging in thyroid cancer patients are lacking. Specific case examples of thyroid cancer patients who appear to have benefited from FDG-PET imaging do exist, while less data are available in the setting of anaplastic or medullary thyroid carcinoma. This article reviews the utility and limitations of FDG-PET in DTC management, and offers practical recommendations.

Keywords : Fluorodeoxyglucose 18F; Positron-emission tomography; Thyroid cancer; Follicular carcinoma; Thyroid nodules; Thyroid.

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