Effect of thyroid volume on radioiodine therapy outcome in hyperthyroid cats

Volckaert V, Vandermeulen E, Dobbeleir A, et al.

J Feline Med Surg 2016;18:144-149.

Radioiodine therapy is commonly used in hyperthyroid cats and has a high success rate, ranging from 85-95%. As in humans, thyroid volume has been reported to influence radioiodine therapy outcome in hyperthyroid cats. The purpose of this study was to relate total thyroid volume, calculated by a newly constructed formula for feline patients (0.438 x length x width(2)), to the outcome of radioiodine therapy. To search for a correlation between total thyroid volume and therapy outcome, 167 hyperthyroid cats were included. Patients were categorised according to the administered radioiodine dose and therapy outcome. Our analysis did not show a significant relationship between an increasing total thyroid volume and the odds for a final low total thyroxine concentration (TT4; P = 0.3930) or a final hyperthyroid outcome (P = 0.0901). A significant relationship was found for an increase in the odds for a final low TT4 outcome with an increase in the number of foci detected on the pertechnetate thyroid scan (P = 0.0238). This was not true for a final hyperthyroid outcome (P = 0.7435). The number of detected foci was also significantly associated with the total thyroid volume (P = 0.0006). Findings indicated that the presence of multiple affected foci influences therapy outcome towards a low TT4 outcome. Bilateral hyperthyroidism and its potential effect on a final low TT4 outcome should therefore be addressed when informing owners of the possible outcomes of radioiodine therapy for their cat.