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Determination of intrathyroidal iodine by X-ray fluorescence analysis in 60- to 65-year olds living in an iodine-sufficient area.

Journal article
Authors Mille Milakovic
Gertrud Berg
Robert Eggertsen
Ernst Nyström
A Olsson
Annhild Larsson
M Hansson
Published in Journal of internal medicine
Volume 260
Issue 1
Pages 69-75
ISSN 0954-6820
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 69-75
Language en
Keywords iodine, thyroid gland, X-ray fluorescence
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


OBJECTIVES: X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a non-invasive method for determining the iodine content of the thyroid gland in vivo. In spite of the obvious clinical value of such a method in situations of iodine deficiency or iodine overload, the method has not so far been widely used. The objective was to investigate the applicability of the XRF method in a larger number of subjects. DESIGN AND SUBJECTS: The study comprised 37 individuals, aged 60-65 years, who had spent their entire life with iodine supplementation through iodinated table salt. Individuals with (previous) thyroid disease were excluded. The individual thyroid function had previously been evaluated by measurements of thyroid-related hormones, thyroid volume and 131-Iodine (131I) uptake which indicated a sufficient iodine intake of the population in the area. Iodine in the right thyroid lobe in each subject was examined using XRF. RESULTS: The mean thyroid iodine concentration was 0.4 mg mL(-1), corresponding to a mean total iodine content of 5.2 mg (range 0.9-20.2). There was a pronounced difference between individuals. No correlation was found between iodine concentration and 131I uptake or thyroid volume. Neither was iodine content and 131I uptake correlated. CONCLUSIONS: In a population living under iodine-sufficient conditions, a large variation of iodine stored in the thyroid is compatible with euthyroidism. Determination of the iodine pool by XRF investigation is feasible in a clinical setting and the method offers a unique possibility to study the intrathyroidal iodine pool in subjects with thyroid disease. The low radiation dose enables the use of the method in pregnant women and also in young individuals.

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