Radioiodine therapy effects on salivary gland function in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer [Persian]

Document Type : Original Article


Research Institute for Nuclear Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Salivary gland involvement is one of the radioiodine therapy complications. Salivary gland scintigraphy in quantitative mode can accurately evaluate salivary gland function. Methods: Salivary gland scintigraphy was performed with Tc-99m Pertechnetate, at the time of iodine therapy as a basic study and then 3 weeks and 3 months afterwards. Ejection Fraction (EF) of parotid and submandibular glands was obtained at each stage of the study. Results: 36 patients (10 male, 16 female) were studied. Mean of EF 3 weeks and 3 months following radioiodine therapy was reduced. There was no significant involvement in 12 patients (33.3%). With increase in radioiodine dose, more salivary gland involvement was noted in 3 weeks (P=0.07), but not after 3 months (P=0.5). No difference was noted between two sexes (P=0.6). Parotid gland involvement was more than submandibular gland (P<0.05), confirming more radiosensitivity of parotid gland. No meaningful relation was noted between salivary gland involvements with age (P=0.1). Parotid gland dysfunction was not related to radioiodine dose, but in submandibular gland, with dosage increase, more involvement was noted (P=0.02). Clinical symptoms were not reliable in evaluating salivary gland dysfunction.


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