Radioiodine therapy is often employed for treatment of patients with relapse of hyperthyroidism due to Graves' disease, after previous thyroid surgery. Little is known about the outcome of this treatment compared to patients with no previous surgery. A total of 20 patients who had received surgical treatment for Graves' hyperthyroidism 1-46 years previously and with relapse of the hyperthyroidism, and 25 patients with hyperthyroidism due to Graves' disease and no previous thyroid surgery were treated with radioiodine, following the same protocol. Early after treatment the previously operated patients showed a higher sensitivity to radioiodine, with more cases of early hypothyroidism, than non-operated patients. However, after 50 months of follow-up the outcome was identical. The results indicate that frequent assessment is necessary after radioiodine treatment of previously operated patients, since some patients develop early hypothyroidism.
Journal of Internal Medicine, 1992, Vol 231, Issue 1, p. 13-7