Health Phys. 1993 Nov;65(5):545-9.

Potassium iodate and its comparison to potassium iodide as a blocker of 131I uptake by the thyroid in rats.

Pahuja DN, Rajan MG, Borkar AV, Samuel AM. Radiation Medicine Centre, B. A. R. C., Parel, Bombay.

Potassium iodide is the preferred thyroid blocker for personnel handling radioiodine and is recommended as a prophylaxis for the population in the near-field of a nuclear reactor which would be likely to be exposed to radioiodine in an accidental breach of containment.

However, in hot and humid climates, this hygroscopic chemical has a poor shelf life due to hydrolytic loss of iodine vapors. On the other hand, another iodine-rich salt, potassium iodate (KIO3), is quite stable and has a much longer shelf life.

The present study compares potassium iodide and KIO3 as thyroid blockers and examines the appropriate time at which they should be administered in case of radioiodine exposure.

Either of the two were given in recommended dosage (100 mg stable iodine per 70 kg body weight) at -2, 0, +2, +4, +6, and +8 h after administration of tracer quantities of radioiodine (131I) to age-, weight-, and sex-matched rats. 131I uptake in thyroid was measured 24 h after its administration in the experimental animals and compared with placebo administered controls.

Results suggest that KIO3 is as effective a thyroid blocking agent as potassium iodide. In comparison to controls, 24-h thyroid uptake of 131I can be substantially reduced if potassium iodide or KIO3 is given to the animals within 2-4 h after exposure to 131I. Another noteworthy observation is that KIO3 is effective even at 8 h when administered at twice the usual dosage in comparison to the single dose, which does not show appreciable thyroid blocking properties after 8 h.

PMID: 8225995 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]