Nuclear Medicine & Radiation Therapy

ISSN: 2155-9619

Open Access

Bronchiectasis Masquerading as Lung Metastasis in a Patient with Papillary Carcinoma Thyroid Identified by 131I Whole Body Scintigraphy


Padma S, Shanmuga Sundaram P and Firuz MD

Differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC), arising from thyroid follicular epithelial cells, accounts for the vast majority of thyroid cancers. Despite being well-differentiated, papillary thyroid cancers may be overtly or minimally invasive. They may invade lymphatics but are less likely to invade blood vessels. Iodine-131 (131I) is routinely used to image patients after thyroidectomy to assess the presence of residual thyroid tissue with or without metastasis. False positive 131I scans, showing the presence of 131I uptake in the absence of residual thyroid tissue or metastases can occur, although they are uncommon. Unless recognized as a false positive, 131I uptake may result in diagnostic error and lead to administration of an unnecessary higher therapeutic dose. We present a 55 year old female, histopathologically proven case of follicular variant of papillary carcinoma that underwent Total Thyroidectomy. Residual thyroid and whole body scan showed moderate residual thyroid tissue with abnormal 131I in right lung masquerading as right lung metastases. SPECTCT (single photon emission computed tomography – computed tomography) was incremental in localizing the site of 131I uptake to bronchiectatic changes. 131I diagnostic and post therapy scans are useful to risk stratify DTC patients’ so that amount of high dose 131I to be administered to patient can be estimated and judiciously used in their treatment.


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