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J Nucl Med. 2007 Oct;48(10):1620-5. Epub 2007 Sep 14.

The dental safety profile of high-dose radioiodine therapy for thyroid cancer: long-term results of a longitudinal cohort study.

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  • 1Institute of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.


The long-term dental safety profile of high-dose radioiodine therapy remained elusive despite more than 6 decades of clinical use.


In a cohort study, we investigated the incidence of sialadenitis, xerostomia, caries, and tooth extractions after high-dose radioiodine therapy for differentiated thyroid cancer and explored risk factors by multiple regression models.


One hundred seventy-six participants were recruited (median follow-up, 6.6 y; range, 1.1-32.6 y; patient-years: 8,472 before and 1,421 after radioiodine therapy). Scintigraphic salivary gland uptake during radioiodine treatment predicted development of sialadenitis (odds ratio: 1.31 [1.05-1.63], P = 0.015) and xerostomia (odds ratio: 1.58 [1.16-2.16], P = 0.004). The caries risk increased by postradioiodine xerostomia (% increase: 98.8 [26.5-212], P = 0.003). The long-term risk for postradioiodine tooth extractions increased with increasing cumulative radioiodine activities (% increase [per gigabequerel]: 8.14 [1.07, 15.7], P = 0.02).


High-dose radioiodine treatment can impair the long-term dental health, depending on the cumulative radioiodine activity and individual salivary gland radioiodine uptake.

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