Behavior and awareness of thyroid cancer patients in Korea having non-hospitalized low-dose radioiodine treatment with regard to radiation safety

Seog Gyun Kim, Jin Chul Paeng, Jae Seon Eo, Hye Kyung Shim, Keon Wook Kang, June Key Chung, Myung Chul Lee, Dong Soo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: With the recent increase in incidence of thyroid cancer, non-hospitalized low-dose (NH-LD) radioiodine treatment (RIT) has also increased rapidly. The radioactivity limit that is allowed to be administered without hospitalization depends on individual calculation, based partly on patients' behavior. In this study, Korean patients' behavior in relation to radiation safety in NHLD RIT was surveyed. Methods: A total of 218 patients who underwent NH-LD RIT of 1.1 GBq 131I in a single center were surveyed. The patients underwent RIT with a standard protocol and the survey was performed by interview when they visited subsequently for a whole-body scan. The survey questionnaire included three parts of questions: general information, behavior relating to isolation during RIT, and awareness of radiation safety. Results: After administration of radioiodine, 40% of patients who returned home used mass transportation, and another 47% went home by taxi or in car driven by another person. Isolation at home was generally sufficient. However, 7% of patients did not stay in a separate room. Among the 218 patients, 34% did not go home and chose self-isolation away from home, mostly due to concerns about radiation safety of family members. However, the places were mostly public places, including hotels, resorts, and hospitals. About half of the patients replied that access to radiation safety information was not easy and their awareness of radiation safety was not satisfactory. As a result, 45% of patients wanted hospitalized RIT. Conclusions: In many countries, including Korea, RIT is continuously increasing. Considering the radiation safety of patients' family members or the public and the convenience of patients, the pretreatment education of patients should be enhanced. In addition, the hospitalization of patients having low-dose therapy is recommended to be seriously considered and expanded, with the expansion of dedicated treatment facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-272
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavior
  • Hospitalization
  • Radiation safety
  • Radioiodine treatment
  • Thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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