Spectrometric measurements of radioisotope activity in the thyroid
The results of measurements of iodine 131I and technetium 99mTc uptake in human thyroid, performed with scintillation or semiconductor detectors can exhibit a considerable uncertainty due to the differences in the thyroid position in the patient's neck. Basic physical laws of radiation attenuation and scattering show that the final shape of the registered spectrum should depends on the thyroid position in the neck and on the thickness of the tissue between the thyroid and the detector. The use of the spectrometric measuring method is proposed in this work for determination of the iodine gathering effective depth. The performed studies showed that the measurements results can be used for improving the accuracy of the iodine 131I activity in thyroid measurements and for selection of the group of patients for whom the anatomical position of the thyroid or the spatial distribution of the iodine gathering is much different than the standard one, assumed during the calibration of the counters. The results of the measurements were in agreement with Monte-Carlo calculations of the detector response. The method was used in routine monitoring of occupationally exposed persons, using the thyroid counter. A group of six persons with measurable internal contamination was selected and the measurements were performed on consecutive days, so the results could be registered at decreasing iodine activities in the thyroid. Larger series of measurements were performed at Brodno Regional Hospital in Warsaw, for a group of 95 patients after diagnostic administration of iodine 131I.