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Contamination of Protein-Bound Iodine by Pink Gelatin Capsules Colored with Erythrosine

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Supported by grant AM 500, the Thomas Frenzel Fund, St. Paul, Minn.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Steve Haas, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, University of Minnesota Hospitals, Minneapolis, Minn. 55455

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ann Intern Med. 1970;72(4):549-552. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-72-4-549
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Elevation of the protein-bound iodine (PBI) to hyperthyroid levels (9 to 11 µg/100 ml) in a patient was apparently due to the iodide content of the dye used to color lithium carbonate capsules. In five normal subjects taking empty capsules for 6 weeks the PBI level rose significantly, although it did not exceed the normal range. Mean values had returned to pretreatment levels 6 weeks later. The radioactive iodine (RAI) uptake was depressed in the patient but was not significantly altered in the five normals. The dye (erythrosine) is widely used in coloring foods and drugs and may be a fairly common source of mild PBI elevations in euthyroid patients.





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