P. Y. Barthez, I. A. Schaafsma and Y. W. E. A. Pollak
99mTc-pertechnetate is excreted in humans by the thyroid glands, gastric mucosa, salivary glands, choroid plexus, and sweat glands. Uptake attributed to the zygomatic and molar salivary glands is used commonly as a reference to assess thyroid uptake and differentiate euthyroid from hyperthyroid cats. However, the exact location and origin of uptake of 99mTc-pertechnetate in the head during thyroid scintigraphy in cats remains uncertain. The purpose of this study was to localize uptake of 99mTc-pertechnetate in the head of the cat using multimodality image fusion. Computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance (MR), and single photon emission tomography (SPECT) imaging were performed successively in two cats during the same anesthesia procedure. Transverse, dorsal, and sagittal images were reconstructed for each modality. Images were rescaled and fused manually. The anatomic location of focal 99mTc activity in SPECT images was identified in CT and MR images. Four major and four minor focal areas of uptakes were identified in the head in both cats. A rostral conical-shaped activity was identified in the nasal cavity. Two symmetric focal areas of uptakes seen in the soft tissues in the ventro-caudal retro-bulbar region, and rostro-medial to the vertical ramus of the mandible were attributed to zygomatic salivary glands. A central focal activity located ventral and caudal to the zygomatic uptake was located in the nasopharynx and soft palate. Minor symmetric areas of uptake identified in the retromandibular region were attributed to parotid and mandibular salivary glands. Minor symmetric areas of uptake identified in the region of the mandible were attributed to molar salivary glands. No focal area of uptake was identified in the brain.