New recommendations from the American Thyroid Association (ATA) on outpatient radioiodine (131I) treatment aim to minimize unintended radiation exposure and maximize the safety of patients, their families, and the public.
The ATA convened a task force to update radiation safety information related to outpatient 131I therapy to treat hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer. The new ATA practice recommendations cover a broad range of topics including travel; safety precautions at home, work, and school; personal hygiene; and pregnancy and breastfeeding. These recommendations comply with the most up-to-date U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations, including a recent guidance statement that advises medical professionals administering 131I therapy to ask patients about their intended destination after the treatment and to discourage them from staying at hotels to limit public radiation exposure.
In a Commentary in the February issue of Thyroid
, Richard T. Kloos, MD, Professor, The Ohio State University and Secretary/Chief Operating Officer of the ATA, states that the new ATA document "aims to provide simplified, consistent, and safe instructions for care providers and patients."
"The strength of these practice recommendations is that the task force included representatives across the range of disciplines that use radiation to treat thyroid patients. It is essential that our patients receive clear and consistent information from those ordering, administering, and monitoring these treatments," states Gregory A. Brent, MD, Professor of Medicine and Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles and President of the ATA.