Radioisotope imaging for discriminating benign from malignant cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules
The risk of malignancy in thyroid nodules with indeterminate cytological classification (Bethesda III–IV) ranges from 10% to 40%, and early delineation is essential as delays in diagnosis can be associated with increased mortality. Several radioisotope imaging techniques are available for discriminating benign from malignant cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules, and for supporting clinical decision-making. These techniques include iodine-123, technetium-99m-pertechnetate, technetium-99m-methoxy-isobutyl-isonitrile (technetium-99m-MIBI), and fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (fluorine-18-FDG). This review discusses the currently available radioisotope imaging techniques for evaluation of thyroid nodules, including the mechanism of radiotracer uptake and the indications for their use.