rhTSH-aided radioiodine ablation and treatment of differentiated thyroid carcinoma: a comprehensive review

Endocrine-related Cancer
Markus LusterF Pacini


Traditionally, withdrawal of thyroid hormone has been used to attain the increase in serum TSH concentrations that are believed to optimize the trapping and retention of radioiodine for diagnostic procedures, thyroid remnant ablation and treatment of patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). However, withdrawal frequently causes clinical hypothyroidism, with resultant cognitive impairment, emotional dysfunction, physical discomfort, health risks in patients who are elderly, frail or have concomitant illness, and impaired quality of life and ability to work. Recombinant human TSH (rhTSH) was developed to provide TSH stimulation without withdrawal of thyroid hormone and the associated morbidity. rhTSH has been approved as an adjunct for diagnostic procedures in patients with DTC, but is currently an experimental aid in thyroid remnant ablation and the treatment of thyroid tumours. In the period 1997-2004, nearly 30 medical centres worldwide have reported on almost 400 patients with DTC who were given rhTSH in preparation for radioiodine ablation of thyroid remnants or treatment of local tumours of metastatic disease. We have analysed and summarized the findings reported in this literature. Ablation aided by the standard ...Continue Reading


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