Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association 2017 10 1927(11) 1433-1440 doi 10.1089/thy.2017.0264
The ability of thyroid follicular cells to take up iodine enables the use of radioactive iodine (RAI) for imaging and targeted killing of RAI-avid thyroid cancer following thyroidectomy. To facilitate identifying novel strategies to improve (131)I therapeutic efficacy for patients with RAI refractory disease, it is desired to optimize image acquisition and analysis for preclinical mouse models of thyroid cancer.
A customized mouse cradle was designed and used for microSPECT/CT image acquisition at 1 hour (t1) and 24 hours (t24) post injection of (123)I, which mainly reflect RAI influx/efflux equilibrium and RAI retention in the thyroid, respectively. FVB/N mice with normal thyroid glands and TgBRAF(V600E) mice with thyroid tumors were imaged. In-house CTViewer software was developed to streamline image analysis with new capabilities, along with display of 3D voxel-based (123)I gamma photon intensity in MATLAB.
The customized mouse cradle facilitates consistent tissue configuration among image acquisitions such that rigid body registration can be applied to align serial images of the same mouse via the in-house CTViewer software. CTViewer is designed specifically to streamline SPECT/CT image analysis with functions tailored to quantify thyroid radioiodine uptake. Automatic segmentation of thyroid volumes of interest (VOI) from adjacent salivary glands in t1 images is enabled by superimposing the thyroid VOI from the t24 image onto the corresponding aligned t1 image. The extent of heterogeneity in (123)I accumulation within thyroid VOIs can be visualized by 3D display of voxel-based (123)I gamma photon intensity.
MicroSPECT/CT image acquisition and analysis for thyroidal RAI uptake is greatly improved by the cradle and the CTViewer software, respectively. Furthermore, the approach of superimposing thyroid VOIs from t24 images to select thyroid VOIs on corresponding aligned t1 images can be applied to studies in which the target tissue has differential radiotracer retention from surrounding tissues.