Sixty-four patients with well-differentiated carcinoma of the thyroid were treated with initial high (80 to 100 mCi) or low (less than 30 mCi) doses of I131 after bilateral subtotal thyroidectomy. A total of 36 patients in the various histologic categories were initially treated with the low dose of I131 (group 1), and a total of 28 patients were treated with the higher dose (group 2). Disease-free criteria were no visible tissue in the neck or body, a protein-bound radioactive iodine (PBI131) of less than 0.005 per cent per liter at seven days and/or whole body retention of less than 3 per cent at seven days. Of the patients receiving less than 30 mCi (group 1), 56 per cent with papillary carcinoma, 67 per cent with follicular carcinoma and 56 per cent with mixed carcinoma of the thyroid were rendered disease-free after this initial dose. Of the patients receiving the higher dose of I131 (group 2), 67 per cent with papillary carcinoma, 50 per cent with follicular carcinoma and 67 per cent with mixed carcinoma of the thyroid were rendered disease-free after this initial dose. Disease-free mean follow-up time was 5.17 years (group 1) and 5.82 years (group 2). There was no statistical difference in these mean follow-up times, nor was there a statistical difference in the net (total minus initial) dose of I131 needed to render the patient disease-free. These data demonstrate that low dose I131 therapy is as effective as the larger more routine doses of I131 given in this disease.