Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 135–143 | Cite as

The Predictive Values of Lesion Size, F-18 FDG Avidity and I-131 Avidity for the Clinical Outcome of I-131 Treatment in Patients with Metastatic Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma Only in the Lung

  • Joon Ho Choi
  • Byung Hyun Byun
  • Ilhan Lim
  • Hansol Moon
  • Jihyun Park
  • Kyoung Jin Chang
  • Byung Il Kim
  • Chang Woon Choi
  • Sang Moo Lim
Original Article



We aimed to evaluate the prognostic values of radiography, F-18 FDG PET, and I-131 whole body scans in patients with lung-only metastasis from differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC).


Between 1998 and 2013, we included 31 patients (F: 26, M: 5) with lung-only metastasis from DTC who had been treated with I-131 and underwent PET. Lung metastasis was categorized according to the size (macronodular ≥1.0 cm vs. micronodular <1.0 cm), FDG avidity (avid vs. non-avid), and I-131 avidity (avid vs. non-avid). Progression-free survival (PFS) was evaluated for each patient.


Among 31 patients, seven (23%) had macronodular lung metastasis, 26 (84%) had FDG avid lung metastasis, and 16 (52%) had I-131 avid lung metastasis. During the median follow-up period of 9.4 y, median PFS was 6.1 y. Based on Kaplan-Meier analysis, macronodular lung metastasis (p = 0.017) and I-131 non-avid lung metastasis (p = 0.059) were significantly associated with worse outcomes, but FDG avid lung metastasis was not (p = 0.135). Patients with FDG non-avid lung metastasis did not experience disease progression during follow-up, while 11 of 26 patients (42%) experienced disease progression. Based on univariate analysis, the hazard ratio for a poor prognosis was 3.78 (p = 0.029) for macronodular lung metastasis and 3.29 (p = 0.079) for I-131 non-avid lung metastasis.


Macronodular and I-131 non-avid lung metastasis were associated with a poor prognosis in lung-only metastasis from DTC. Although FDG avid lung metastasis may be associated with a poor prognosis, a larger-scale study is needed.


Differentiated thyroid carcinoma Lung metastasis F-18 FDG avidity I-131 avidity Micronodular Macronodular 



This study was supported by a grant from the Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences (KIRAMS), funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea (711045543/50462-2017) and by the Establishment and Operation of Research Infrastructure for Radioisotope Application (50461-2017), funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Joon Ho Choi, Byung Hyun Byun, Ilhan Lim, Hansol Moon, Jihyun Park, Kyoung Jin Chang, Byung Il Kim, Chang Woon Choi, and Sang Moo Lim have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethics Statement

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the Korea Cancer Center Hospital (IRB No. K-1511-002-003). The manuscript contains a statement that the study was approved by an institutional review board or equivalent and has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. All subjects in the study gave written informed consent or the institutional review board waived the need to obtain informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Nuclear Medicine 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joon Ho Choi
    • 1
  • Byung Hyun Byun
    • 1
  • Ilhan Lim
    • 1
  • Hansol Moon
    • 1
  • Jihyun Park
    • 1
  • Kyoung Jin Chang
    • 1
  • Byung Il Kim
    • 1
  • Chang Woon Choi
    • 1
  • Sang Moo Lim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Korea Cancer Center HospitalKorea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences (KIRAMS)SeoulRepublic of Korea

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