Nodule AFTN Treatment with radiofrequency ablation RFA vs Radioiodine therapy RAI.
- The RAI group had patients develop hypothyroidism needing life time thyroid hormone replacement. 5/25 patients developed clinical hypothyroidism after RAI.
- None in the RFA group developed hypothyroidism.
- Success of either therapy was normalization of the TSH.
- Euthyroidism, was achieved in 18/25 (72%) patients treated by RI.
- Euthyroidism was achieved in 20/22 (90.9%) treated by RFA.
- All patients responded to RI but 5/25 were “over‐treated” developing hypothyroidism.
- RFA was effective in all patients with no case of post‐treatment clinical hypothyroidism.
- No radiation exposure and lower risk of post‐treatment hypothyroidism make RFA the favourite option especially for young patients.
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Comparison between radioiodine therapy and single‐session radiofrequency ablation of autonomously functioning thyroid nodules: A retrospective study
To compare the efficacy of Radioiodine (RI) and Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in the treatment of autonomously functioning thyroid nodules (AFTNs). End‐points: nodule volume reduction (NVR) and thyroid function normalization.
Design, patients and measurements
Twenty‐two patients (2:20 M:F; 51.9 ± 13.9 years) affected by 25 AFTNs, treated by RFA were retrospectively compared with 25 patients (8:17 M:F; 57.2 ± 12.8 years) affected by a single AFTN treated by RI. Both group showed analogous characteristics as to age, gender, toxic/pretoxic phase and pretreatment nodule volume (calculated by the ellipsoid formula). Thyroid hormone levels and autoimmune thyroid profile were assessed before treatment. A fixed RI activity of 555 MBq (15 mCi) was administered. RFA was performed with an 18G, single‐tipped electrode, by the “modified moving shot technique.” Thyroid hormones were assessed and the nodule post‐treatment volume calculated 12 months after treatment.
No statistical difference was found between the post‐treatment NVR by comparing RI and RFA (P = 0.69). The volume reduction rates were 68.4 ± 28.9% and 76.4 ± 16.9% after RI and RFA, respectively. As to the thyroid function, 5/25 patients developed clinical hypothyroidism after RI. After RFA, all the 22 patients silenced their AFTN and normalized the thyroid hormones. Subclinical hypothyroidism was recorded in two patients after both RI and RFA. Thus, the functional therapeutic success, defined as the restoration of euthyroidism, was achieved in 18/25 (72%) patients treated by RI and in 20/22 (90.9%) treated by RFA.
No statistical difference in NVR was found between RI and RFA. All patients responded to RI but 5/25 were “over‐treated” developing hypothyroidism. RFA was effective in all patients with no case of post‐treatment clinical hypothyroidism. No radiation exposure and lower risk of post‐treatment hypothyroidism might make RFA the first choice option especially for young patients.