Successful pregnancy after radiotherapy with 131I for differentiated thyroid cancer. A case report and review of the literature

Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2010;37(4):328-30.


Background: Radioactive iodine has been used effectively in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid diseases. Since radiation is delivered to the whole body, including the ovaries, there is reasonable concern as to whether there is a possibility of mutagenic effect on germ cells.

Case report: A 33-year-old woman with a differentiated papillary carcinoma. (T2N0M0), underwent radiotherapy three weeks after surgery and one year afterwards she became pregnant. At the 38th week of gestation she delivered vaginally a healthy female neonate weighing 3100 g. The child at the age of five years is healthy with no signs of malignancy or other disease.

Discussion: Washout of 131I of the whole body takes place in a few days. Nevertheless, most guidelines recommend avoiding pregnancy for four to six or even 12 months after RAI treatment or scanning. As reported in our case a normal uncomplicated pregnancy can follow an operative and complementary treatment of thyroid cancer.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / radiotherapy*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / adverse effects*
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Ovary / radiation effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / surgery
  • Thyroidectomy


  • Iodine Radioisotopes