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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 144-155

Radioiodine Remnant Ablation: A Critical Review


1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 169608, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chandra Sekhar Bal
Department of Nuclear Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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DOI: 10.4103/1450-1147.163240

PMID: 26420983

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Radioiodine remnant ablation (RRA) is considered a safe and effective method for eliminating residual thyroid tissue, as well as microscopic disease if at all present in thyroid bed following thyroidectomy. The rationale of RRA is that in the absence of thyroid tissue, serum thyroglobulin (Tg) measurement can be used as an excellent tumor marker. Other considerations are like the presence of significant remnant thyroid tissue makes detection and treatment of nodal or distant metastases difficult. Rarely, microscopic disease in the thyroid bed if not ablated, in the future, could be a source of anaplastic transformation. On the other hand, microscopic tumor emboli in distant sites could be the cause of distant metastasis too. The ablation of remnant tissue would in all probability eliminate these theoretical risks. It may be noted that all these are unproven contentious issues except postablation serum Tg estimation that could be a good tumor marker for detecting early biochemical recurrence in long-term follow-up strategy. Radioactive iodine is administered as a form of "adjuvant therapy" for remnant ablation. There have been several reports with regard to the administered dose for remnant ablation. The first report of a prospective randomized clinical trial was published from India by a prospective randomized study conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi in the year 1996. The study reported that increasing the empirical 131 I initial dose to more than 50 mCi results in plateauing of the dose-response curve and thus, conventional high-dose remnant ablation needs critical evaluation. Recently, two important studies were published: One from French group and the other from UK on a similar line. Interestingly, all three studies conducted in three different geographical regions of the world showed exactly similar conclusion. The new era of low-dose remnant ablation has taken a firm scientific footing across the continents.


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