Abstract. In a total of 195 children and adolescents of both sex (mean age 12.9, range 5–17 years) with endemic non-toxic goitre the thyroidal iodine concentration (IC) was determined using X-ray fluorescent scanning on admission and during iodine (100 μg daily) and l-thyroxine (3 μg/kg body weight daily) treatment respectively. Additionally the thyroid volume was measured sonographically in a longitudinal study including 46 patients before and after 4–8 months of iodine supplementation (100 μg daily).
The IC was 305 ± 144 μg/g. It compared well with that of adult goitre patients (288 ± 109 μg/g) and was significantly inferior to the value of normal controls (389 ± 170 μg/g). Under l-thyroxine therapy the IC further decreased (243 ± 144 μg/g), whereas patients receiving iodide showed an increase of the IC (570 ± 197 μg/g). The mean TSH level fell from 2.3 ± 0.9 μU/ml to 1.4 ± 0.6 μU/ml. The average T4/TBG (thyroxine binding globulin) ratio showed a slight increase which, however, was not significant.
The mean goitre volume decreased by 40%.
It was evidenced that iodide is useful not only in the prophylaxis of non-toxic goitre but also as a more physiologic treatment than thyroid hormones, at least for young subjects with simple diffuse goitres.