Nucl Med Mol Imaging.  2019 Jun;53(3):199-207. 10.1007/s13139-019-00592-z.

Lesion-Wise Comparison of Pre-Therapy and Post-Therapy Effective Half-Life of Iodine-131 in Pediatric and Young Adult Patients with Differentiated Thyroid Cancer Undergoing Radioiodine Therapy

  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
  • 2Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
  • 3Department of Pediatric Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


The effective half-life of radioiodine is an important parameter for dosimetry in differentiated thyroid cancer patients, particularly in children. We determined the pre-therapy and post-therapy effective half-life in different types of lesions, i.e., remnant, node, or lung metastases.
Of 84 patients recruited, 27 were < 18 years (group 1) and the remaining 57 were between 18 and 21 years (group 2). A total of 114 studies were conducted and 253 lesions were analyzed. Serial whole-body scans were acquired at 24, 48, and ≥ 72 h after administration of iodine-131. Region of interests was drawn over lesions to determine counts in the lesion. Time versus counts graphs were plotted and mono-exponentially fitted to determine effective half-life.
The post-therapy effective half-life was found to be lesser than pre-therapy effective half-life in all types of lesions and in all groups. Median effective half-life was found maximum in intact lobe, minimum in the lung, and intermediate in remnant and nodes. In the assessment of all lesions together, pre- and post-therapy median and interquartile range (IQR) effective half-life were 59.8 (37-112) h and 48.6 (35.2-70.8) h (p < 0.0001) in group 1, 73.9 (46.2-112.7) h and 60 (57.4-85.9) h (p < 0.0001) in group 2, and 68.6 (41.53-112.36) h and 54.7 (36-80.6) h (p < 0.0001) in combined group, respectively. Importantly, the pre- and post-therapy median effective half-life serially dropped after each successive cycles of iodine-131.
There was a significant difference in pre-therapy and post-therapy effective half-life in all types of lesions. These results may have implications in calculating the correct therapeutic dose in children and in young adults.


Effective half-life; Thyroid cancer; Pediatric; Radioiodine therapy; Pre-therapy; Post-therapy

MeSH Terms

Neoplasm Metastasis
Thyroid Gland*
Thyroid Neoplasms*
Young Adult*
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