What Influences Early Hypothyroidism After Radioiodine Treatment for Graves' Hyperthyroidism?

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Abstract

Objective:

The objective of this study was to evaluate the factors influencing the occurrence of early hypothyroidism after radioiodine treatment of Graves' hyperthyroidism.

Material and Methods:

Of 147 patients with Graves' disease (GD) treated with radioactive I-131 (RAI) in our thyroid clinic between July 2003 and December 2004, 84 were followed at 2 and 4 to 5 months after treatment. The age range was 12 to 75 years and the dosage range in these patients was 7.4 to 29.9 mCi. Twenty-four were males and 60 were females. Factors possibly contributing to post-RAI hypothyroidism are: dosage of I-131, age, gender, size of the gland, initial serum free T4, free T3, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, pretreatment with antithyroid drugs, radioactive iodine uptake, and duration of disease.

Results:

All patients had low TSH, elevated FT4, and elevated radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU) at 4 and/or 24 hours. Of the 84 patients followed, 46% of the males and 62% of the females became hypothyroid at 4 to 5 months (57% of the total). Twenty-one patients remained hyperthyroid and 14 patients became euthyroid. Multivariate analysis of these 84 patients showed no statistically significant single contributing factor for the development of early hypothyroidism.

Conclusion:

The early onset of hypothyroidism after RAI in GD is very common (57%) and unpredictable. Thus, after RAI treatment, all patients must be closely monitored for the development of this disorder.

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