Radioiodine therapy for hyperthyroidism

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biochemistry, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

2 Research Institute for Nuclear Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Nuclear Medicine Department, Imam Hossein Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Radioiodine therapy is the safest, simplest, least expensive and most effective method for treatment of hyperthyroidism. The method employed in this research was a systematic bibliographic review, in which only valid studies or the clinically detailed enough open-labeled studies using validated scales were used. Iodine-131 (I-131) acts by the destructive effect of short-range beta radiation on thyroid cells. Indications for radioiodine therapy include toxic nodules (in which I-131 is the first choice of treatment), recurrent hyperthyroidism after antithyroid treatment or surgery, intolerance to antithyroid therapy due to side-effects and patient preference. Due to difficulties in previous methods for dose determination, fixed dose method of I-131 is now considered the best practical method for radioiodine therapy in primary hyperthyroidism. Absolute contraindications for radioiodine treatment are pregnancy and lactation. In pediatric patients, radioiodine therapy can be used, but is mainly considered in recurrent toxic goiter and when antithyroid medication is ineffective. There is no clear evidence indicative of carcinogenic or teratogenic effect of this agent.


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