Factors Predicting Early Release of Thyroid Cancer Patients from the Isolation Room after Radioiodine-131 Treatment


Background: Patients with differentiated thyroid cancers (DTC) who receive radioactive iodine-131 (RAI) are released from isolation when their dose rate is below the regulatory requirements. The purpose of this study was establish predicting factors for early release from the isolation facility after RAI administration in patients with DTC. Materials and
Methods: This was a prospective study which included 96 (58 females and 38 males) patients with DTC who had received RAI from April 2013 till August 2015. The study was duly approved by the ethical committee of the institute. Patients who had complete information of primary tumor size (PTS), serum TSH, stimulated thyroglobulin level [sTg] with antibodies (IU/ml) at the time of RAI treatment were included. All had a normal serum creatinine level. To attain lower effective half-life good hydration and administration of soft laxative were ensured. Dose rate was measured (immediately, 24 h and 36 h) at 1 meter distance from anterior mid trunk and a dose rate <50 μSv/h was considered as the releasing criterion. At 24 h 50 patients were released while the remaining 46 patients were released at 36 h. A post-ablative whole body scan (PA-WBIS) was performed 5-8 days after RAI ablation in all patients.
Results: Patients released after 24 h were significantly younger, had smaller lesions with higher proportion of papillary cancer, lower sTg, lower sTg/TSH ratio and had received a lower dose of RAI as comapred to those who were discharged after 36 h. Serum TSH and gender were not found to have any significant correlation between two cohorts. ROC and multivariate analysis have shown age ≤37 years, PTS ≤ 3.8 cm, RAI ≤ 150 mCi, sTg ≤ 145 ng/ml and sTg/TSH ≤ 1.085 as strong indepedent predictors for early release.
Conclusions: We conclude that younger age (≤37 years), smaller tumor size (≤3.8 cm), lower RAI dose (≤150 mCi), lower sTg (≤145 ng/ml) and a lower sTg/TSH ratio (≤ 1.085) are significant independent predictors for release at 24 h after RAI treatment in DTC patients. Effective utilization of these factors could help the treating physicians to use limited number of internment facilities with higher throughput, lower cost and lower psychological stress to patients.