-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
TUESDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Iodinated contrast media
(ICM), a substance commonly used in imaging procedures such as CT
scans and cardiac catheterization, may affect patients' thyroid
function, according to a new study in the Jan. 23 issue of the
Archives of Internal Medicine.
After examining two decades of patient information from 1990
through 2010, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital,
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School found
people who have been exposed to ICM are at greater risk for
Hyperthyroidism, also called "overactive thyroid," occurs when
the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone. Two dozen
symptoms that can be associated with the condition include
difficulty concentrating, fatigue, weight loss, clammy skin and
increased sweating, itching and hair loss.
There was no association between ICM and hypothyroidism, or an
The researchers concluded that since ICM is widely used, more
studies are needed to confirm their findings and determine exactly
why and how this substance affects thyroid function.
In commenting on the study, Dr. Elizabeth Pearce of Boston
University School of Medicine, wrote that patients who may be more
vulnerable to thyroid problems, such as those with underlying
unstable heart disease, should have their thyroid function
monitored after iodine exposure.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information
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