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Postoperative radioactive iodine administration for differentiated thyroid cancer patients

Lepoutre-Lussey, Charlotte; Deandreis, Désirée; Leboulleux, Sophie; Schlumberger, Martin

Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes and Obesity: October 2014 - Volume 21 - Issue 5 - p 363–371
doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000100
THYROID: Edited by Lewis E. Braverman and Angela M. Leung

Purpose of review Radioactive iodine (RAI) is administered postoperatively to the majority of thyroid cancer patients. No available study has demonstrated any benefit in low-risk patients.

Recent findings RAI should be used selectively in low and intermediate-risk patients, based on the surgical and pathological reports and on postoperative serum thyroglobulin level and neck ultrasonography. When used, a low activity (30 mCi) is administered following recombinant human thyrotropin stimulation. High-risk patients are treated with a high activity of RAI (100 mCi or more).

Summary RAI is not administered in many low-risk patients who can be reliably followed up with serum thyroglobulin determination on L-thyroxine treatment and neck ultrasonography. RAI may be administered in case of abnormality, and this delay will not reduce the chance of cure.

Gustave Roussy, University Paris Sud, Villejuif, Paris, France

Correspondence to Martin Schlumberger, Gustave Roussy, 114 rue Edouard Vaillant, 94800 Villejuif, Paris, France. Tel: +33 142116095; e-mail:

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins