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Annals of Nuclear Medicine

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 325–330 | Cite as

Diffuse and diffuse-plus-focal uptake in the thyroid gland identified by using FDG-PET: prevalence of thyroid cancer and Hashimoto's thyroiditis

  • Seiji Kurata
  • Masatoshi Ishibashi
  • Yuji Hiromatsu
  • Hayato Kaida
  • Ikuyo Miyake
  • Masafumi Uchida
  • Naofumi Hayabuchi
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

Objective

To investigate and evaluate the prevalence of incidental thyroid diffuse and diffuse-plus-focal fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake in healthy subjects who underwent cancer screening on positron emission tomography (PET) scan, and also to evaluate the prevalence of thyroid cancer and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

Methods

We carried out a retrospective review of 1626 subjects who underwent PET scanning at our institution. Diffuse uptake was defined as FDG uptake in the whole thyroid gland, whereas diffuse-plus-focal uptake was defined as a thyroid lesion with both diffuse uptake and focal FDG uptake. The maximum standardized uptake value of the thyroid lesions was recorded and reviewed. In each selected subject with positive thyroid FDG uptake, serum thyroid-stimulating hormone, thyroid hormone, and thyroid antibodies were measured. Fine needle aspiration cytology was performed on patients with a definite nodule using ultrasonography.

Results

Twenty-nine subjects (1.78%) were identified as having either diffuse FDG uptake (n = 25, 1.53%) or diffuse-plus-focal FDG uptake (n = 4, 0.24%). All subjects with diffuse FDG uptake were diagnosed as having Hashimoto's thyroiditis. In 1 of the 25 subjects with diffuse FDG uptake and two of the four with diffuse-plus-focal FDG uptake, histopathologic diagnosis showed papillary thyroid carcinoma associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. However, PET scan did not detect papillary carcinoma associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis in one of the three subjects.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that although diffuse FDG uptake usually indicates Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the risk of thyroid cancer must be recognized in both diffuse FDG uptake and diffuse-plus-focal FDG uptake on PET scan.

Key words

FDG-PET Diffuse FDG uptake Cancer screening Hashimoto's thyroiditis Thyroid cancer 

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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Nuclear Medicine 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seiji Kurata
    • 1
  • Masatoshi Ishibashi
    • 1
  • Yuji Hiromatsu
    • 2
  • Hayato Kaida
    • 1
  • Ikuyo Miyake
    • 2
  • Masafumi Uchida
    • 3
  • Naofumi Hayabuchi
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of RadiologyKurume University School of MedicineKurumeJapan
  2. 2.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of MedicineKurume University School of MedicineKurumeJapan
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyKurume University School of MedicineKurumeJapan

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