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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-37

The incidence of hypothyroidism following the radioactive iodine treatment of graves' disease and the predictive factors influencing its development

Department of Oncology and Nuclear Medicine (NEMROCK), Nuclear Medicine Unit, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Maha Abd El-Kareem El-Sayed Husseni
Department of Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine (NEMROCK), Cairo University, Cairo
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DOI: 10.4103/1450-1147.167582

PMID: 26912976

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The purpose of this study is to evaluate and compare the incidence of hypothyroidism following different fixed radioactive iodine-131 (131I) activities in the treatment of Graves' disease (GD) and to investigate the predictive factors that may influence its occurrence. This retrospective analysis was performed on 272 patients with GD who were treated with 131I, among whom 125 received 370 MBq and 147 received 555 MBq. The outcome was categorized as hypothyroidism, euthyroidism, and persistent hyperthyroidism. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify significant risk factors that affect the development of hypothyroidism. The incidence of hypothyroidism following the first low activity was 24.8% with a high treatment failure rate of 58.4%, compared with 48.3% and 32% following high activity. The overall cumulative incidence of hypothyroidism following repeated activities was 50.7%, out of which 73.9% occurred after the first activity and 20.3% after the second activity. The higher 131I activity (P < 0.001) and average and mild enlargement of the thyroid gland (P = 0.004) were identified as significant independent factors that increase the rate of incidence of hypothyroidism (Odds ratios were 2.95 and 2.59). No correlation was found between the development of hypothyroidism and the factors such as age, gender, presence of exophthalmos, previous antithyroid medications, and the durations, and Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) pertechnetate thyroid uptake. In view of the high treatment failure rate after first low activity and lower post high activity hypothyroid incidence, high activity is recommended for GD patients, reserving the use of 370MBq for patients with average sized and mildly enlarged goiter; this increases patient convenience by avoiding multiple activities to achieve cure and long-term follow-up.

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