Radioiodine treatment for benign thyroid diseases

Anthony P Weetman
Clinical Endocrinology 2007, 66 (6): 757-64
Radioiodine has been in use for over 60 years as a treatment for hyperthyroidism. Major changes in clinical practice have occurred with the realization that accurate dosimetry is incapable of avoiding the risks of hypothyroidism, while more accurate assessment of the risks of other adverse effects of radioiodine such as ophthalmopathy and carcinogenesis have become available. More is also known of the potential for pretreatment with an antithyroid drug to affect the outcome of radioiodine treatment. However, we are still uncertain of the benefits of radioiodine treatment in subclinical hyperthyroidism. During the last two decades there has been wider acceptance of radioiodine as a safe and effective therapy for benign, nontoxic goitre, coupled with waning enthusiasm for the use of levothyroxine, as the risks and benefits of this option have become more apparent. The use of recombinant TSH offers the prospect that radioiodine treatment of nontoxic goitre can be simplified and improved, although more studies of this strategy are urgently required.

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