The effect of short-term vitamin E against radioiodine-induced early lacrimal gland damage

Ann Nucl Med. 2013 Dec;27(10):886-91. doi: 10.1007/s12149-013-0763-z. Epub 2013 Aug 27.


Radioiodine (RAI) is a well-known radionuclide which is used in vivo both for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, particularly for the treatment of hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer. Vitamin E is a well-known antioxidant vitamin. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether there was a protective effect of short-term vitamin E on RAI-induced lacrimal gland early damage in experimental animal models.

Methods: Twentyfour rats were randomly divided into two groups. The first group (RAI group) was administreted 3 mCi (131)I by gastric gavage and 1 mL physiological saline intraperitoneally. The second group (RAI + Vitamin E) was administrated 3 mCi (131)I by gastric gavage and 1 mL vitamin E intraperitoneally. After 24 h of the last dose being administered on the 7th day, the animals were decapitated. The lacrimal glands [Intraorbital (IG), extraorbital (EG) and harderian glands (HG)] of the rats were removed for histopathological examination.

Results: Periductal and/or periacinar fibrosis in all lacrimal glands were observed to be statistically significantly less frequent in the RAI + Vitamin E group compared to the RAI group. The existence of the abnormal lobular pattern and peripheral basophilia and irregular nucleus shape in IG and in EG, the poorly defined acidophilic cell outline and periductal infiltration in IG and in HG were observed to be statistically significantly less frequent in the RAI + Vitamin E group than in the RAI group.

Conclusion: According to study results, histopathological examinations revealed that vitamin E protects rat lacrimal glands against RAI-related early damage.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fibrosis
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / adverse effects
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / drug effects*
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / pathology
  • Lacrimal Apparatus / radiation effects*
  • Radiation-Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Time Factors
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology*


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Vitamin E