Outcome of radioiodine therapy for feline hyperthyroidism: Fixed dose versus individualized dose based on a clinical scoring system
Background: Hyperthyroidism is the most frequent endocrinopathy in older cats. To date, there is no consensus on how to best calculate the dose of radioiodine to administer to hyperthyroid cats.
Aim: The goals of this study were to compare thyroid function, renal function, and survival time between hyperthyroid cats receiving a fixed dose of radioiodine and those receiving an individualized dose calculated using a clinical scoring system.
Methods: Medical records of 110 cats treated with radioiodine therapy at the University of Bern between 2010 and 2020 were reviewed. Thyroid function, renal function, and survival of cats treated with a fixed dose of radioiodine (2010–2015; n = 50) were compared to those of cats treated with an individualized dose (2015–2020; n = 60) at different time points after therapy.
Results: Treatment with a fixed dose of radioiodine (mean = 168 ± 26 MBq) was associated with 69% of euthyroidism, 19% persistent hyperthyroidism, and 12% hypothyroidism, whereas treatment with an individualized dose (mean = 120 ± 30 MBq) led to 54% euthyroidism, 23% hyperthyroidism, and 23% hypothyroidism (p = 0.73). More than 12 months after treatment, the incidence of azotemia was comparable between cats treated with a fixed dose (37%) and those treated with an individualized dose (31%) (p = 0.77). No factors were found to be predictive of treatment failure (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism) after therapy. Median survival time after radioiodine therapy was 44 months. In a multivariate analysis, persistent hyperthyroidism was the only variable independently associated with a shorter survival time (HR = 6.24, p = 0.002).
Conclusion: The method of calculating the dose of radioiodine (fixed vs. individualized) to treat feline hyperthyroidism does not appear to be decisive for posttreatment thyroid function, renal function, or survival.