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Inoue K, Guo R, Lee ML, Ebrahimi R, Neverova NV, Currier JW, Bashir MT, Leung AM. Iodinated Contrast Administration and Risks of Thyroid Dysfunction: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis of the U.S. Veterans Health Administration System. Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association. 2023 Feb 1; 33(2):230-238.
Iodine-induced thyroid dysfunction is a potential risk among susceptible individuals. Iodinated contrast media is a common source of an acute iodine load used in the health care setting and is frequently required for diagnostic computed tomography scans, coronary angiograms, and other radiologic studies. However, the epidemiologic risks of iodine-thyroid dysfunction have not been fully established in the United States. This population-based retrospective cohort study used the U.S. Veterans Health Administration database between 1998 and 2021 and included adults aged 18 years with a serum thyrotropin (TSH) measurement. Multivariable logistic regression was used to ascertain the risk of incident thyroid dysfunction (defined by repeated measurements of serum thyroid function) following iodine exposure, adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, baseline serum TSH concentration, and duration between baseline and follow-up TSH concentration. The cohort was composed of = 4,253,119 veterans (mean ± SD = 63.5 ± 14.3 years; 92.9% men; 65.6% non-Hispanic Whites) with 8,729,155 corresponding pairs of serum TSH measurements, from which there were 499,897 TSH pairs with intervening iodine exposure. Thyroid dysfunction occurred in 4.8% of those pairs who had received iodine contrast and 3.6% of those without iodine exposure. Iodinated exposure was associated with an increased risk of thyroid dysfunction (odds ratio [OR] = 1.39, 95% confidence intervals [CI] = 1.37-1.41, < 0.001) and consistent for all types of serum thyroid dysfunction (overt or subclinical hypo-/hyperthyroidism). Men were at higher risk for the development of thyroid dysfunction than women (men: OR = 1.42, 95% CI = 1.40-1.44; women: OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.11-1.21; -for-interaction < 0.001). In this largest analysis of U.S. adults to date, iodine exposure was associated with only clinically small absolute increased risks of thyroid dysfunction, particularly in men. These findings suggest that screening of thyroid function following iodinated contrast administration should be targeted to high-risk individuals.