Possible Problem with Prostate Radioactive Seed Implant

November 29, 2004

Radioactive Iodine containing tiny seeds are implanted in the prostate to treat prostate cancer. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation were performing routine tests to check for possible radioactive seed migration to other parts of the body. Since late in 2001, 23,184 seeds were implanted in the 246 patients who were evaluated. Of these, 75 seeds were found in the urine, and 25 migrated to the thorax. However, in this possibly unique case, the seeds in the prostate became damaged, the radioactive Iodine escaped and migrated to the patient's thyroid gland. The amount found in the thyroid was not enough to be clinically important according to the researchers, however radioactive Iodine can damage the thyroid gland and decrease the metabolic rate. The case report is published in the November 2004 issue of the Journal of Urology.

Both "Mini Stroke" and Stroke Should be Viewed as Brain Attack


  • In this very important study researchers compared 1,380 patients admitted to a hospital for a transient ischemic attack (TIA) to 3,855 patients hospitalized with a full blown stroke. A TIA is a shorter version of a stroke where the brain attack (like a heart attack) is of shorter duration; the duration of decreased blood flow in the brain is briefer.
  • In comparing the two groups during their hospital stay it was found that 2% of the TIA patients had a cardiovascular event versus 4% in the stroke population, and 8% of the TIA patients actually developed a subsequent stroke during their hospital stay.
  • 8% of TIA patients and 19% of stroke patients developed either pneumonia or a urinary tract infection.
  • 2% of the TIA patients died during their hospital stay, versus 9% of the stroke patients. > 5% of the TIA patients died versus 10% of the stroke patients in the following six months after they were first admitted.
  • 5% of TIA patients had a stroke within the following six months and 6% of the stroke patients suffered an additional stroke.
  • In the opinion of the researchers both TIA and strokes should be considered brain attacks and both groups of patients should be evaluated similarly. The report appears in the November 2004 issue of the journal Stroke.

    Meta Analysis Shows that NAC Protects the Kidneys During Heart Test

    When cardiologists test the heart muscle and surrounding blood vessels they use a radioactive contrast media given by injection to give a better picture on the X-ray. Unfortunately, a common effect of this contrast media is kidney damage.

    In this meta-analysis of 5 trials that included patients with existing kidney damage who were placed on NAC in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies it was found that NAC decreased kidney damage by 20%, and that there was a 70% decreased risk in contrast induced kidney disease. The study is published in the November 2004 issue of the journal Clinical Cardiology.