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Iodinated Contrast Agent & Cancer Reoccurence

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2005

Hello, I am the daughter of a cancer survivor doing a little research on thryoid cancer and iodinated contrasting agents.

My father was treated for thyroid cancer in the 1970's and again a couple years ago. He thinks that the second occurence was instigated by use of iodinated contrasting agent for an angiogram. His iodine "allergy" was noted on his charts, but procedure was still performed. Has anyone else had this type of problem with contrasting agents and thryoid cancer reoccurence?

And, does anyone know of an alternative to iodinated contrast agents?

I would love to hear from others in the same situation or anyone who is interested in exploring this issue. I will post again as I find answers myself.

Thank you!

Rustifox's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Mar 2005

The iodinated contrast would not have stimulated the recurrence, but it does have a very difficult effect - for 2 to 10 months after, and even longer for some people, it makes the body less likely to uptake radioactive iodine, used for treating our thyroid cancer.

If an RAI (radioactive iodine) treatment dose is planned, there is a 24 hour Urine Iodide test that is done out of the labs at Mayo. Your Dad would need to do a very, very strict low iodine diet for at least 7 days prior to the test. If the results are still high, with the elimination of dietary iodine, then it is unlikely that any RAI treatments would work until the iodinated contrast dye has naturally run its' course... an unfortunate situation, but if an angiogram was required, the concerns for us need to be balanced with the health issues involved.

If you haven't, you (or your Dad) may want to join Thyca:

If you join, then the information about CT and angiogram/pylogram dyes is here:

So, the iodinated contrast wouldn't have stimulated the cancer to regrow, but it certainly can prevent RAI treatments from working properly for us for a period of time. Hope this helps! Where ever humanly/logistically possible, we should refuse CT scans with contrast, Pyelograms, and angiograms unless they are urgent. If they are urgent, we should plan to do them following an RAI treatment - not before one.

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