Age-dependent potassium iodide effect on the thyroid irradiation by 131I and 133I in the nuclear emergency

Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2008;130(4):499-502. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncn068. Epub 2008 Mar 12.


The initial near-field exposure is primarily through inhalation in a nuclear emergency and the dominant contribution to the effective inhalation dose comes from radioiodine. Thyroid blockade by oral potassium iodide (KI) is efficient and practical for public in the nuclear emergency. Age-dependent radioprotective effect of KI on the thyroid irradiation by (131)I and (133)I has been derived using the simplified compartment model of iodine metabolism and WinSAAM program. Administration of KI within 2 h after (131)I and (133)I intake can block thyroid uptake significantly, yielding protective effect of 78.9% and 74.3%, respectively, for (131)I and (133)I for adults. The mean absorbed doses decrease with age, while protective effects of KI are similar for all age groups.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iodides / chemistry
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / pharmacology*
  • Potassium Iodide / therapeutic use*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control
  • Radiation Protection / instrumentation
  • Radiation Protection / methods*
  • Radioactive Hazard Release
  • Thyroid Gland / drug effects*
  • Thyroid Gland / radiation effects*


  • Iodides
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Potassium Iodide