Low-dose radioisotope scanning and quantitative analysis in the diagnosis of congenital hypothyroidism.
Quantitative thyroid scanning using low doses of 99mTc sodium pertechnetate (1.85-3.7 MBq) was performed in 38 cases of congenital hypothyroidism. Of these 38 cases, 29 were scanned at 14 +/- 6 days old, and 9 at 1 year old. The scans show the full range of gland anatomy from athyreotic to normal. All morphologically normal scans had grossly increased uptakes of 99mTc. The incidence of the various thyroid anatomies was different in each age group. The average radiation dose to the thyroid was 2.29 mGy, with at least 70% of patients receiving a dose of 3.0 mGy or less. Such low doses of 99mTc should allow further scanning in later life. Neonatal thyroid scanning reveals the aetiology of congenital hypothyroidism and enables the clinician to assess the short- and long-term needs of the child.