Compliance with follow-up and the informative value of diagnostic whole-body scan patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma given recombinant human TSH

Ohad Cohen*, Sari Dabhi, Avraham Karasik, S. Zila Zwas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Protocols for monitoring patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) include measurement of serum Tg and, for most patients, whole-body scan (WBS) with low radioiodine activities ('diagnostic' WBS). Recently, recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone (rhTSH) has become available to provide the TSH stimulation necessary for these procedures, whilst avoiding thyroid hormone withdrawal and hypothyroid complications. In addition, the inclusion of diagnostic WBS in DTC follow-up has recently become controversial. We have assessed the compliance with withdrawal-aided monitoring and the informative value of diagnostic WBS in consecutive tertiary referral center patients. Design: Forty-eight patients received rhTSH (0.9 mg) in two consecutive daily injections, with radioiodine administration 24 h, diagnostic WBS 48 h, and serum Tg testing prior to and 72 h later. Methods: Compliance with withdrawal-aided monitoring was assessed with a questionnaire provided by the referring physician, patient record analysis, and patient interview. The informative value of diagnostic WBS was assessed by comparing findings against serum Tg measurements in light of physical and other radiological examinations. Results: Forty of the forty-eight patients were female, the mean age was 43.9 years and the median follow-up from diagnosis was 4.5 years (range 1-19 years). Twenty-seven (56%) patients were compliant and 12 (25%) were non-compliant; compliance was not known in nine. Of 17 patients with clinically suspicious or significant findings on any available modality, four had uptake outside the thyroid bed on WBS but stimulated Tg <2.5 ng/ml on immunometric assay, while five had a negative WBS with serum Tg >2.5 ng/ml. Conclusions: Thyroid hormone withdrawal substantially impairs, and rhTSH administration substantially promotes, compliance with DTC monitoring. rhTSH-aided WBS is informative and should be included in the follow-up of unsclected patients with DTC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-290
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Volume150
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

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