Submit Manuscript  

Article Details

The Role of Radiopharmaceuticals in Amiodarone-Induced Thyroid Pathology

[ Vol. 10 , Issue. 3 ]


Alexandru Irimie and Doina Piciu*   Pages 146 - 154 ( 9 )


Background and Objective: The use of amiodarone for the treatment of ventricular and supraventricular dysrhythmias brings in organism an increased amount of iodine, interfering with thyroid function. If the treatment needs to be interrupted, iodine remains at abnormal levels for months or even years. The aim of the study was to review the literature regarding the optimal tests for early diagnostic and to analyze the role of nuclear medicine tests in the differential and correct assessment of the amiodarone-induced thyroid pathology.

Methods: We made a review of available publications in PUBMED referring the amiodaroneinduced thyroid pathology, focusing on the differential diagnosis, made by nuclear medicine tests, of hypothyroidism (AIH) and hyperthyroidism expressed as: type I amiodarone induced thyrotoxicosis (AIT I), type II amiodarone induced thyrotoxicosis (AIT II), and less frequently as a mixt form, type III amiodarone induced thyrotoxicosis (AIT III). We presented cases from the database of a tertiary center in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Results: Despite the frequent complication of thyroid function, this pathology is underestimated and diagnosed. There is a limited number of studies and clear protocols, especially in the mixed forms cases. This increase in iodine uptake interferes seriously with thyroid hormone production and release. The nuclear medicine tests are essential in the correct assessment and differential diagnosis of different forms of induced thyroid dysfunction. The destruction of the follicular cells can result in the release of excessive thyroid hormone into the circulation, with potential development of atrial fibrillation, worsening the cardiac disease, so any benefic therapeutic procedure should be known; the use of radioiodine as therapy alternative, despite the known limitations induced by blockade was clear benefic in the case presented. A special attention needs to be addressed to those patients with differentiated thyroid cancer, which will be submitted to radioiodine therapy and are under chronic therapy with amiodarone.

Conclusion: The nuclear medicine procedures are essential in the correct assessment and differential diagnosis of different forms of induced thyroid dysfunction. The radioiodine is not recommended in AIT, due to stunning effect induced by iodine excess, but in some special, lifethreatening condition, radioiodine I-131 might be a treatment option.


Amiodarone, thyroid, radiopharmaceuticals, AIH, thyroid pathology, hypothyroidism, amiodarone.


Ion Chiricuta Institute of Oncology, Cluj-Napoca, Ion Chiricuta Institute of Oncology, Department of Nuclear Medicine, 34-36, Republicii St. 400015, Cluj-Napoca

Graphical Abstract:

Read Full-Text article