To evaluate the reliability of thyroid scintigraphy in the diagnosis of nodular growth, scintigrams of patients who later underwent thyroidectomy were reviewed and correlated with pathologic findings. The scintigrams were all obtained with a 5-mm single-hole collimator-equipped gamma-scintillation camera after intravenous injection of 5 millicuries of sodium pertechnetate Tc 99m. In the group of 92 patients, six of whom had two histologically different lesions, 149 nodules were identified pathologically. There were 26 nodules 2 to 5 mm in diameter, of which 22 were benign and four were malignant. None of the 22 benign nodules were delineated scintigraphically. Superior image quality and resolution, low radiation dose, technical simplicity, and speed make 99mTc pinhole-camera scintigraphy the best procedure available for routine thyroid imaging.
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