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All patients at our institutions in the past ten years are given iodine 123 as the tracer dose for radioactive iodine uptake studies. No patients at our institution are given any radioactive tracers while nursing. Those patients who have postpartum thyroiditis resulting in hyperthyroidism with enough clinical problems requiring treatment need to stop breast-feeding to be given appropriate medications, all of which are secreted into the milk. Radioactive iodine uptake tracer studies can then be done after breast-feeding has been stopped. In our own institution, technetium Tc 99m uptake studies are usually but not always similar to iodide studies. Absolute uptakes may be altered in breast-feeding women because some of the isotope goes into the milk. Women who become hypothyroid, of course, require no isotopic studies prior to treatment. A small amount of thyroxine is secreted in the milk, but this
Freeman R. Technetium Tc 99m Uptake in Postpartum Thyrotoxicosis-Reply. Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(5):994–997. doi:10.1001/archinte.1987.00370050186037
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