Rectal administration of iodide and propylthiouracil in the treatment of thyroid storm

S. C.J. Yeung, R. Go, A. Balasubramanyam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


We administered potassium iodide and propylthiouracil per rectum, in conjunction with intravenous dexamethasone and propranolol, for emergent treatment of a patient in thyroid storm with small bowel obstruction. Shortly after initiation of this treatment, the patient successfully underwent two emergent surgical procedures for resection of an intestinal volvulus with advanced peritonitis. Serum levels of iodide and propylthiouracil showed substantial absorption of these drugs via the rectal route. Measurement of 24-h urinary-free iodide indicated that the bioavailability of potassium iodide delivered by retention enema was at least 40%. Parenteral iodide preparations have been unavailable in the past, and continue to be difficult to obtain emergently. Rectal administration of inorganic iodide is an effective, readily available and less expensive alternative to parenteral sodium iodide for patients in thyroid storm with upper gastrointestinal tract dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-405
Number of pages3
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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