Effects of chronic iodine administration on thyroid status in euthyroid subjects previously treated with antithyroid drugs for Graves' hyperthyroidism

E. Roti, E. Gardini, R. Minelli, L. Bianconi, M. Salvi, G. Gavaruzzi, L. E. Braverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In view of the adverse effects of the administration of pharmacological quantities of iodine to euthyroid patients with a history of a wide variety of thyroid disorders, it has been suggested that iodine-containing medications and radioopaque dyes containing iodine should be avoided, if possible, in patients with underlying thyroid disease. We have now prospectively studied the effects of pharmacological doses of a saturated solution of potassium iodide (SSKI) on thyroid function in euthyroid patients with a previous history of hyperthyroid Graves' disease successfully treated with antithyroid drugs. Ten euthyroid women (mean age, 56 yr) who had hyperthyroid Graves' disease successfully treated with methimazole 36.4 ± 4.7 months earlier were evaluated before, during, and after the administration of 10 drops SSKI daily for 90 days. The following thyroid function tests were obtained: serum T4, T3, TSH, TSH receptor antibody (TSH-RAb), and antithyroid peroxidase antibody (AbTPO) concentrations; TRH tests; and iodine perchlorate discharge tests. Serum T4, T3, basal and TRH- stimulated TSH, and TSH-RAb values were normal before SSKI administration, but serum AbTPO levels were markedly positive in 7 and iodine perchlorate discharge tests were positive in 4 of these 10 women. During SSKI administration, basal and TRH-stimulated serum TSH values increased above normal in 2 women with normal serum T4 and T3 concentrations; thyroid hormone values and TRH tests were normal in the other 8 patients and similar to values observed in 4 euthyroid women without a history of thyroid disease given SSKI. Serum AbTPO increased slightly, but significantly, during SSKI administration in the 7 women with positive values at baseline (P <0.05). TSH-RAb remained undetectable. After SSKI withdrawal, the 10 women were reevaluated 60 and 120 days later. Two women developed a blunted TSH response to TRH, but normal serum T4 and T3 concentrations, and 2 women developed overt hyperthyroidism, with undetectable basal and TRH-stimulated serum TSH and elevated serum T4 and T3 concentrations, requiring methimazole therapy. All values in the remaining 6 women were similar to those present before SSKI administration. These results suggest that some euthyroid patients with a history of antithyroid drug therapy for Graves' disease may develop thyroid dysfunction during and after excess iodine administration. The development of subclinical hypothyroidism during SSKI administration was not clinically important, but the occurrence of overt hyperthyroidism after SSKI was discontinued did require antithyroid drug therapy. It is advisable, therefore, to avoid iodine-containing substances in euthyroid patients with a history of antithyroid drug therapy for Graves' disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)928-932
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume76
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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