The NIFTy trial is now recruiting in several hospitals around the UK until 31/12/2023. It is open to people who are having total thyroid surgery, to remove the whole thyroid, or completion surgery to remove the remaining lobe of their thyroid following a partial thyroidectomy. The aim of the trial is to find out whether using near-infrared fluorescence imaging could reduce the number of people whose parathyroid glands become damaged during thyroid surgery.
The tiny parathyroid glands (behind the thyroid gland) are sometimes hard to locate but emit fluorescence at a particular wavelength. A special camera (that detects light in the near-infra red range) picks this up. In addition, a dye available for clinical use called indocyanine green (ICG) is injected to show the blood supply to the parathyroid glands. This is also detected by the same camera; thus highlighting both the glands and their blood supply.
Protecting these glands is very important because they produce parathyroid hormone which maintains calcium levels in the blood. Removing or damaging the parathyroid glands during surgery causes a condition called post- surgical hypoparathyroidism which can require lifelong treatment.
If you are interested in joining the trial you can find out more on our NIFTy trial poster