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May 1978

Transient Hypothyroidism

Author Affiliations

Springfield, Ill

Arch Intern Med. 1978;138(5):824. doi:10.1001/archinte.1978.03630290104036

To the Editor.—  Reference has recently been made in your journal to the lack of studies relating goiter size to the development of transient hypothyroidism shortly after radioactive iodine therapy.1 In 1972 we reported that 9.2% of 205 patients treated with sodium iodide I 131 for Graves' disease became hypothyroid within the first six months of treatment.2 This review was limited to subjects who had not received131I in the past. The clinical picture at the time hypothyroidism was diagnosed was that of an overlapping syndrome between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The most frequent complaints were muscular cramps, fatigability, nervousness, and an increase in appetite. All hypothyroid patients showed a weight gain of at least 2 kg, but eight out of 18 patients had heart rates of more than 100 beats per minute. At this stage, the thyroid gland was of normal size or impalpable in all the