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[IP] Thyroid

> A more permanent solution, and the treatment of choice, is to destroy a >
portion of the thyroid with radioactive iodine. Often times, the patient >
will become hypothyroid after this and will go on Synthroid (or eq.) > sorry
this is late but i got behind in digests. I have a question. Does
radioactive iodine always destroy part of the thyroid? [no not always if the
dose is high enuf it will] I took radioactive iodine twice for a scan years
before i have had hypothyroid. I wonder if that could have destroyed part of
it and eventually caused the hypothyroid? [they give you Lugol's iodine
first to block the absorption by the thyroid no] I was thinking all
diabetics eventually get this and it is a diabetic thing but maybe not. [no,
but it is a very common co morbidity] Where would i go to look stuff like
this up? [Entrez PubMed] 


I should have addressed my reply to the group, instead of just you.

As I said, there are two main isotopes of Iodine that we use for the
thyroid.  I-123 is a diagnostic isotope that has a very short half-life (13
hours) and can not cause any measurable damage to the thyroid.  It is used
to make pictures of the thyroid and measure its function.  I-131 is a
therapeutic isotope with an 8 day half life.  Additionally, it produces a
beta particle that travels a very short distance and destroys tissue.  That
is the isotope that we use to destroy part of the thyroid if it is
overactive, or the whole gland if it is cancerous.  We NEVER use Lugol's
solution in thyroid scanning or treatment because it would block uptake of
our isotope and defeat the purpose of the scan.  The only time we us Lugol's
solution is to protect the thyroid when we use I-131 that is tagged or
chemically bound to another compound to image or treat another part of the

Andrew M. Jacoby, CNMT
Radiation Safety Officer
Northside Hospital

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