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01.12.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 10/2017

Annals of Nuclear Medicine 10/2017

The effect of short-term treatment with lithium carbonate on the outcome of radioiodine therapy in patients with long-lasting Graves’ hyperthyroidism

Zeitschrift:
Annals of Nuclear Medicine > Ausgabe 10/2017
Autoren:
Vladan Sekulić, Milena Rajić, Marina Vlajković, Slobodan Ilić, Miloš Stević, Marko Kojić

Abstract

Objective

The outcome of radioiodine therapy (RIT) in Graves’ hyperthyroidism (GH) mainly depends on radioiodine (131I) uptake and the effective half-life of 131I in the gland. Studies have shown that lithium carbonate (LiCO3) enhances the 131I half-life and increases the applied thyroid radiation dose without affecting the thyroid 131I uptake. We investigated the effect of short-term treatment with LiCO3 on the outcome of RIT in patients with long-lasting GH, its influence on the thyroid hormones levels 7 days after RIT, and possible side effects.

Methods

Study prospectively included 30 patients treated with LiCO3 and 131I (RI-Li group) and 30 patients only with 131I (RI group). Treatment with LiCO3 (900 mg/day) started 1 day before RIT and continued 6 days after. Anti-thyroid drugs withdrawal was 7 days before RIT. Patients were followed up for 12 months. We defined a success of RIT as euthyroidism or hypothyroidism, and a failure as persistent hyperthyroidism.

Results

In RI-Li group, a serum level of Li was 0.571 ± 0.156 mmol/l before RIT. Serum levels of TT4 and FT4 increased while TSH decreased only in RI group 7 days after RIT. No toxic effects were noticed during LiCO3 treatment. After 12 months, a success of RIT was 73.3% in RI and 90.0% in RI-Li group (P < 0.01). Hypothyroidism was achieved faster in RI-Li (1st month) than in RI group (3rd month). Euthyroidism slowly decreased in RI-Li group, and not all patients became hypothyroid for 12 months. In contrast, euthyroidism rapidly declined in RI group, and all cured patients became hypothyroid after 6 months.

Conclusion

The short-term treatment with LiCO3 as an adjunct to 131I improves efficacy of RIT in patients with long-lasting GH. A success of RIT achieves faster in lithium-treated than in RI group. Treatment with LiCO3 for 7 days prevents transient worsening of hyperthyroidism after RIT. Short-term use of LiCO3 shows no toxic side effects.

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