Percutaneous intrathyroidal heat ablation

From Cat

Percutaneous intrathyroidal heat ablation is an alternative method for treating feline hyperthyroidism.

This procedure has been used successfully in human beings to ablate small masses in hepatic, breast and prostatic tissues and in dogs for treatment of hyperparathyroidism[1]. Radiofrequency energy is converted to heat at the needle tip, which causes thermal necrosis of exposed tissue[2].

The use of this technique on cats has been reported, with treatment of both uni- and bilateral thyroid disease involvement. Multiple procedures are usually required (up to 14 times). Transient decreases in T4 concentrations were observed but hyperthyroidism recurred in all cats. Adverse effects included transient Horner's syndrome and unilateral laryngeal paralysis.

Therefore, unipolar heat ablation is an effective short-term treatment for feline hyperthyroidism, however, safer and more effective treatments make this a less than satisfactory treatment method for this disease.


  1. August, JR (2006) Consultations in feline internal medicine. Vol 5. Elsevier Saunders, USA pp:203-204
  2. Pollard, RE et al (2001) Percutaneous ultrasonographically guided radiofrequency heat ablation for treatment of primary hyperparathyroidism in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 218:1106-1110