Artifact of I-131 whole-body scan with thoracic vertebral uptake in a patient with papillary thyroid carcinoma

U. S. Barzel, K. J. Chun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


A false-positive whole-body scan for thoracic vertebral uptake in a case of papillary thyroid carcinoma with esophageal retention, mimicking thoracic vertebral involvement, is presented. Most patients undergoing I-131 whole- body scan are in a state of severe hypothyroidism (for maximum TSH stimulation during the diagnostic imaging procedure). This may result in slow esophageal motility, which, with increased salivary gland I-131 uptake and secretion, can create an artifact that may be misinterpreted as metastatic lesion(s). This potential pitfall can be eliminated with repeated imaging after the ingestion of water and food.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalClinical nuclear medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1997



  • Artifact of I-131 images
  • I-131 Whole-Body Scan
  • Thyroid Carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this