Conventional preparation of goitrous hyperthyroid patients using lugol and propranolol may take 2 weeks. This period may be shortened using sodium iopodate and dexamethasone. We used 500 mg of sodium iopodate and 1 mg dexamethasone for 4 days in 34 hyperthyroid patients. Surgical indication derived from failure to medical treatment (68%), large goiter (27%) or adverse reaction to PTU (6%). Clinical euthyroidism was achieved after 4 days in all patients. T3 levels decreased from 482 +/- 26.2 to 137.6 +/- 3.7 ng/dl and T4 from 20.6 +/- 1.04 to 15.2 +/- 0.5 micrograms/dl (p < 0.005). Surgery was uneventful in 33 patients, one subject developed supraventricular tachycardia responsive to verapamil. Electron microscopy of the removed thyroid tissue revealed marked decrease of superficial villi and large phagosomes. Thus, sodium iopodate and dexamethasone are effective and safe for preoperative preparation of hyperthyroid patients.