123I thyroid scintigraphy can be performed with either a low-energy or a medium-energy (ME) collimator. The high-energy photon emissions from 123I cause septal penetration with scattered photons, which deteriorate image quality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of collimator choice on 123I thyroid scintigraphy in clinical practice. Methods: Forty-seven patients who underwent thyroid planar scintigraphy with both a low-energy, high-resolution (LEHR) collimator and a ME collimator were prospectively recruited using the same imaging protocol. Image quality, collimator sensitivity, and estimation of thyroid size were assessed between LEHR and ME collimators and were compared with thyroid ultrasonography as the gold standard. Results: Images acquired with the ME collimator demonstrated reduced scattered background noise, improved thyroid-to-background contrast, and increased sensitivity in the thyroid gland compared with images acquired by the LEHR collimator. Manual measurement of the thyroid length is more accurate using the ME collimator. Automatic estimation of the thyroid area using the same thyroid threshold is larger in ME collimator images than in LEHR collimator images. Conclusion: Compared with the LEHR collimator, the ME collimator generates cleaner 123I thyroid scintigraphy images with less background noise and has higher collimator sensitivity for thyroid imaging. Different thyroid thresholds should be used to estimate the thyroid area and volume between low and ME collimators.
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