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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1986 Aug;63(2):485-91.

Uninhibited thyroidal uptake of radioiodine despite iodine excess in amiodarone-induced hypothyroidism.


Iodine excess is associated with a low thyroidal radioiodine uptake due to dilution of the radioisotope by the increased stable iodide pool. We studied thyroidal uptake of radioisotopes in cardiac patients with iodine excess due to amiodarone treatment. 99mTc-pertechnetate scintigraphy was performed in 13 patients receiving long term amiodarone therapy. Five patients had a clearly visible thyroid gland, and 8 patients had no or a very faint thyroid image. All patients with positive scans had an increased plasma TSH level, whereas all patients with negative scans had a normal or absent TSH response to TRH. Thyroidal uptake and discharge of 123I were studied in 30 other patients. Group I (n = 11) had normal plasma TSH responses to TRH and no iodine excess, group II (n = 7) had normal TSH responses to TRH and excess iodine from metrizoate angiography in the previous month, group III (n = 7) had normal or decreased TSH responses to TRH while receiving long term amiodarone therapy, and group IV (n = 5) had increased TSH responses to TRH while receiving long term amiodarone therapy. The mean radioiodine uptake value in group I [5.4 +/- 0.8% (+/- SE) at 60 min] was higher than those in group II (2.3 +/- 0.7%; P = 0.009) and group III (0.8 +/- 0.3%; P = 0.0005), but not different from that in group IV (5.3 +/- 1.2%; P = NS). Radioiodine discharge after perchlorate (expressed as a percentage of the 60 min uptake) in group I (10.1 +/- 2.2%) was lower than those in group II (24.9 +/- 10.6%; P = 0.05) and group III (28.8 +/- 5.3%; P less than 0.005), whereas discharge in group IV (58.0 +/- 6.1%) was greater than those in group II (P less than 0.05) and group III (P less than 0.01). In conclusion, 1) thyroid visualization by 99mTc-pertechnetate and thyroid radioiodine uptake during iodine excess are decreased in euthyroid and hyperthyroid patients, but preserved in hypothyroid patients. 2) The organification defect induced by iodine excess is greater in iodide-induced hypothyroidism than in eu- or hyperthyroidism. These findings may be explained by the increased TSH secretion in hypothyroidism and/or by decreased thyroidal concentration of an unknown specific iodinated compound (whose concentration and action vary with the total organic iodine content of the thyroid) that mediates the inhibition of iodide transport.

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