The role of positron emission tomography and positron emission tomography/computed tomography in thyroid tumours: an overview
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- Treglia, G., Muoio, B., Giovanella, L. et al. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol (2013) 270: 1783. doi:10.1007/s00405-012-2205-2
Positron emission tomography (PET) and PET/computed tomography (PET/CT) with different tracers have been increasingly used in patients with thyroid tumours. The aim of this article is to perform an overview based on literature data about the usefulness of PET imaging in this setting. The role of Fluorine-18-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET and PET/CT in differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) is well established, particularly in patients presenting with elevated serum thyroglobulin levels and negative radioiodine whole-body scan. Iodine-124 PET and PET/CT may serve a role in staging DTC and obtaining lesional dosimetry for a better and more rationale planning of treatment with Iodine-131. FDG-PET and PET/CT are useful in the post-thyroidectomy staging of high-risk patients with less differentiated histological subtypes. PET and PET/CT with different tracers seem to be useful methods in localizing the source of elevated calcitonin levels in patients with recurrent medullary thyroid carcinoma. Incorporation of FDG-PET or PET/CT into the initial workup of patients with indeterminate thyroid nodules at fine needle aspiration biopsy deserves further investigation. FDG-PET report should suggest further evaluation when focal thyroid incidentalomas are described because these findings are associated with a significant risk of cancer.