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Thyroidectomy for Amiodarone-Induced Thyrotoxicosis

Alan P. Farwell, MD; Susan L. Abend, MD; S. K. Stephen Huang, MD; Nilima A. Patwardhan, MD; Lewis E. Braverman, MD
JAMA. 1990;263(11):1526-1528. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440110092034.
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Amiodarone hydrochloride, an iodine-rich drug used in the treatment of tachyarrhythmias, is responsible for the development of thyrotoxicosis in approximately 10% of patients who reside in areas of moderate iodine deficiency. Treatment of amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis is difficult since the drug has a prolonged half-life, cardiac decompensation due to underlying heart disease occurs often, and discontinuation of amiodarone therapy may not be possible. We report a patient with severe thyrotoxicosis who received amiodarone for 34 months. Prolonged treatment with methimazole, potassium perchlorate, iopanoic acid, and dexamethasone was unsuccessful in controlling the hyperthyroid state. A near-total thyroidectomy resulted in rapid amelioration of thyrotoxicosis. Since surgery results in rapid control of thyrotoxicosis and permits continued therapy with amiodarone, we suggest that near-total thyroidectomy warrants consideration as definitive treatment for resistant amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis.

(JAMA. 1990;263:1526-1528)


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