In this study, the risk of iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis in unselected patients from an iodine-deficient area was investigated. The patients were consecutively enrolled. Thyroid hormone values and urinary iodine excretion were determined before, as well as 1, 4 and 12 weeks after iodine contamination by coronary angiography. Two of 788 unselected patients developed hyperthyroidism within 12 weeks. The two patients did not belong to a risk group for iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis (i.e. old people, patients with goiter or possible thyroid autonomy, low TSH). Both patients had normal TSH levels at baseline and ultrasound of the thyroid was without evidence of nodules. The study shows that in euthyroid unselected patients from an iodine-deficient area short-term iodine contamination by contrast media rarely leads to hyperthyroidism. On account of these facts, prophylactic therapy, e.g. by perchlorate or thiamazole, is not generally recommended, because the risk of side-effects is perhaps even greater than the risk of iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis.