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What is whole-body scintigraphy scan and when is it performed?

Whole body scintigraphy scan is performed in patients who underwent papillary thyroid cancer surgery. Scintigraphy scan is not performed in patients who do not need radioactive iodine therapy.

Whole body scintigraphy is not performed before surgery to detect metastases in patients diagnosed with thyroid carcinoma before, because the administered radioactive substance accumulates in the thyroid gland and does not visualize metastasis even if there is.  Therefore, whole body scan scintigraphy is performed after thyroid surgery.

 Scintigraphy scans are routinely performed in patients who have undergone radioactive iodine therapy.  The scan is performed 5 days after the administration of radioactive iodine therapy.

Patients who underwent thyroid cancer surgery are followed up with Tg (thyroglobulin) level.  Whole body scintigraphy scan is ordered for patients with high levels of Tg.  Before the scan is performed, thyroid hormone replacement is stopped for 1-1.5 months and waited for TSH to elevate and then scintigraphy is performed. This examination is used to reveal metastases especially not visualized by ultrasonography