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Research Papers

Iodine Therapies

Absolutely not. As you can see from the following medical research, while topical iodine may affect the thyroid, topical iodine (betadine) will not block the thyroid and protect it during a nuclear event.

It should also be noted that children will be the ones affected most by the betadine, and therefore will be the most affected radioactive iodine (I-131).


   Thyroid hormone metabolism in pediatric cardiac patients treated by continuous povidone-iodine irrigation for deep sternal wound infection. - US National Institutes of Health

Conclusions: Data showed that the use of povidone-iodine irrigation in the patients with DSWI has not lead to any significant alteration in thyroid function within the study period.
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   Transcutaneous iodine absorption in adult patients with thyroid cancer disinfected with povidone-iodine at operation. - US National Institutes of Health

Conclusion: A large amount of povidone-iodine was absorbed through healthy skin even in adults. This may possibly interfere with scintigraphy or radioactive iodine treatment, or cause thyroid disinfection in susceptible patients.
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  The effect of povidone-iodine on thyroid function of neonates with different birth sizes. - US National Institutes of Health

Conclusion: PV-I is suggested to be avoided for single application on a wide skin surface in VLBW babies, even in an area with high iodine-intake population.
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  Thyroid function and ioduria in infants after cardiac surgery: comparison of patients with primary and delayed sternal closure Thyroid function and ioduria in infants after cardiac surgery: comparison of patients with primary and delayed sternal closure

Conclusion: Patients with DSC compared with patients with primary sternal closure display more profound thyroid suppression in the immediate postoperative period.

The use of povidone-iodine adhesive drapes with single povidone-iodine mediastinal irrigation in patients with DSC is associated with significant iodine absorption but no significant thyroid dysfunction.
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  Thyroid function in nurses: the influence of povidone-iodine hand washing and gargling. - US National Institutes of Health

Conclusion: The long-term use of PVP-I for gargling should be avoided by (1) people with a high risk of developing thyroid dysfunction due to the excessive intake of iodine, (2) pregnant women and (3) breast-feeding mothers.
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