Outcome of radioiodine therapy for feline hyperthyroidism: Fixed dose versus individualized dose based on a clinical scoring system

  • Joana Matos
  • Bérénice Lutz
  • Lisa-Maria Grandt
  • Felix Meneses
  • Daniela Schweizer-Gorgas
  • Thierry Francey
  • Miguel Campos
Keywords: Cat, Dose, Hyperthyroidism, Radioiodine.


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.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2218-6050
print ISSN: 2226-4485