Purpose: The authors have often observed on TI-201 and Tc-99m sestamibi (MIBI) scans in patients with thyroid cancer a small focus of increased uptake in the right midparasternal region (focus A) or sometimes in the lower mid chest at the level of the lower sternum (focus B) just inferomedial to focus A. The objective of this study was to assess the frequency of this finding on TI-201 MIBI studies, to assess the incidence of true pathologic lesions corresponding to these foci, and to identify their nature. Materials and Methods: One hundred ten whole body TI-201 studies using 4 mCi (148 MBq) and 84 MIBI studies using 20 mCi (740 MBq: first-pass, planar, and SPECT images) were reviewed. The appearance of either focus A or focus B on three orthogonal SPECT images was correlated with an atlas of cross-sectional anatomy and computed tomography. If focus A was seen on the immediate static image (obtained at the end of the first-pass acquisition without moving the patient), this image was coregistered with a selected image from the first-pass study showing the superior vena cava and also with another selected image showing the ascending aorta. Results: Focus A was seen in 40% of TI-201 scans and in 49% of MIBI scans, whereas focus B was seen in 20% of TI-201 scans and 39% of MIBI scans. On correlation of the SPECT images with a cross-sectional anatomy atlas, focus A and focus B invariably corresponded to the superior portion of the right auricle and basal superoanterior right ventricular wall, respectively. These myocardial regions are prominent and sometimes appear as discrete foci because they are considerably thicker than other parts of the right atrial and right ventricular muscle, respectively, and because they are seen partly end-on in the anterior projection. Conclusions: The superior portion of the right auricle and basal superoanterior right ventricular myocardium often appear as isolated foci on whole-body TI-201 and MIBI scans. Neither focus should be interpreted as a metastatic lesion in patients with possible cancer or as an ectopic parathyroid adenoma in patients with hyperparathyroid disease.
- Thyroid Cancer