Objective(s): The aim of this study was to determine whether high-dose radioactive iodine (Na131I) outpatient treatment of patients with thyroid carcinoma is a pragmatically safe approach, particularly for the safety of caregivers. Methods: A total of 79 patients completed the radiation-safety questionnaires prior to receiving high-dose radioactive iodine treatment. The questionnaire studied the subjects’ willingness to be treated as outpatients, along with the radiation safety status of their caregivers and family members. In patients, who were selected to be treated as outpatients, both internal and external radiation exposures of their primary caregivers were measured, using thyroid uptake system and electronic dosimeter, respectively. Results: Overall, 62 out of 79 patients were willing to be treated as outpatients; however, only 44 cases were eligible for the treatment. The primary reason was that the patients did not use exclusive, separated bathrooms. The caregivers of 10 subjects, treated as outpatients, received an average radiation dose of 138.1 microsievert (mSv), which was almost entirely from external exposure; the internal radiation exposures were mostly at negligible values. Therefore, radiation exposure to caregivers was significantly below the public exposure limit (1 mSv) and the recommended limit for caregivers (5 mSv). Conclusion: A safe 131I outpatient treatment in patients with thyroid carcinoma could be achieved by selective screening and providing instructions for patients and their caregivers.
High dose radioiodine outpatient treatment: an initial experience in Thailand
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