Postoperative use of radioiodine (131-I): review of recommendations and guidelines

Marin Prpić, Tomislav Jukić, Jure Murgić, Marta Borić, Josip Stanicić, Zvonko Kusić
Collegium Antropologicum 2011, 35 (2): 587-94
In the management of large number of patients with differentiated thyroid cancer, the radioactive iodine (131-I) administration plays an important role. The guidelines of numerous international and national medical societies regarding the issue of postoperative 131-I administration have been published and updated in the last few years. The guidelines differ in the shape and content, and contain some specific features. The different methods for evaluation and analysis of clinical evidence level and resulting grades of recommendations have been used in line with the very guidelines. The postoperative 131-I administration refers to the radioiodine ablation as a form of adjuvant treatment and radioiodine therapy in the management of patients with recurrent cancer, persistent disease and regional or distant metastases. According to the indications for the postoperative 131-I administration, the patients could be divided into the three risk groups: the very low risk group in which there is no indication for the postoperative 131-I administration, the low risk group in which the indication could be considered, and the high risk group in which there is a clear indication for the 131-I administration. The different criteria for distribution of patients into these three groups are expressed in a certain guidelines. There are different opinions about the necessary dosage of 131-I for the efficient ablation in the low risk group. Moreover, the opinions are also divided regarding the conduction of postoperative (preablative or pretherapeutic) scintigraphy with 131-I. As regards the instructions on preparation of patients for the radioiodine ablation and therapy, all the guidelines recommend the low iodine diet and endogenous or exogenous stimulation of TSH. The endogenous stimulation is accomplished by the withdrawal of thyroid hormones, whereas the recombinant human TSH (rhTSH) is used for exogenous stimulation. For conducting the therapy with 131-I the level of TSH has to be > 25-30 mU/L.

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