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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1994 Jul;79(1):20-4.

Oral iodized oil for correcting iodine deficiency: optimal dosing and outcome indicator selection.

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Iodized Oil Study Group of the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, Algiers, Algeria.


Oral iodized oil is the major alternative to iodized salt for correcting endemic iodine deficiency. This study responds to a need for better guidelines in its use. Schoolchildren, aged 6-11 yr, from a severely iodine-deficient area of Algeria received iodized poppy seed oil (Lipiodol) in a single oral dose containing 120, 240, 480, or 960 mg iodine (groups A-D) or in an im injection of 480 mg iodine (group E). Thyroid volume by ultrasonography had not changed 395 days after treatment in groups A, B, and C, had decreased in groups D and E. Urinary iodine concentration rose rapidly from an initial median of 0.21 mumol/L, but fell below 0.79 mumol/L (the currently accepted level for indicating iodine deficiency) by 150 days for groups A and B, and by 395 days for groups C and D. Median serum TSH and T4 levels were normal before and after treatment, whereas high initial serum thyroglobulin values decreased in all groups after iodized oil treatment. For correcting iodine deficiency in children, we recommend single oral doses of Lipiodol containing 240 mg iodine for 6-month coverage or 480 mg for 12 months. These doses may not completely sustain iodine sufficiency, but will prevent the worst of the iodine deficiency disorders. Additionally, we conclude that the urinary iodine concentration is the most useful epidemiological indicator for assessing current iodine status, and thyroid volume and serum thyroglobulin levels are the best markers for assessing chronic effects.

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