There is a high incidence of thyroid dysfunction during pregnancy resulting in adverse maternal (miscarriages, anaemia in pregnancy, preeclampsia, abruptio placenta and post-partum haemorrhage) and fetal effects (premature birth, low birth weight, increased neonatal respiratory distress) which may justify screening for thyroid function during early pregnancy with interventional levothyroxine therapy for thyroid hypofunction. There is a greater prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism in women with delivery before 32 weeks and there is even an association between thyroid autoimmunity and adverse obstetric outcome, which is independent of thyroid function. Higher maternal TSH levels even within the normal reference range are associated with an increased risk of miscarriages, fetal and neonatal distress and preterm delivery. There are few prospective randomised trials to substantiate the benefit of screening and the recently reported CATS study did not show a benefit in child IQ at age 3 years. Nevertheless there seems to be a case for screening to prevent adverse obstetric outcomes. The clinical epidemiological evidence base does not justify universal screening at the present time. However, it is probable that more evidence will be produced which may alter this view in the future.
Thyroid function changes during pregnancy and maternal thyroid dysfunction have been associated with adverse outcomes. Our aim was to evaluate thyroid hormones levels in pregnant women resident in Aragon, Spain.
Samples for 1198 pregnant women with no apparent thyroid disorders were analyzed, using paramagnetic microparticle and chemiluminescent detection technologies, in order to determine levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4), thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO-Ab), and thyroglobulin antibodies (Tg-Ab). Of the women in our sample, 85.22% had normal values for TPO-Ab and Tg-Ab and 14.77% had results revealing the presence of autoimmune diseases of the thyroid. The thyroid hormone reference values obtained according to gestational age (in brackets) were as follows: for free T3, values were 3.38 ± 0.52 pg/mL (<11 weeks), 3.45 ± 0.54 pg/mL (11-20 weeks), 3.32 ± 0.43 pg/mL (21-30 weeks), 3.21 ± 0.53 pg/mL (31-36 weeks), and 3.23 ± 0.41 pg/mL (>36 weeks); for free T4, values were 1.10 ± 0.14 ng/dL (<10 weeks), 1.04 ± 0.14 ng/dL (11-20 weeks), 0.93 ± 0.12 ng/dL (21-30 weeks), 0.90 ± 0.13 ng/dL (31-36 weeks), and 0.80 ± 0.21 ng/dL (>36 weeks); and for TSH, values were (μIU/mL): 1.12 ± 0.69 (<10 weeks), 1.05 ± 0.67 (11-20 weeks), 1.19 ± 0.60 (21-30 weeks), 1.38 ± 0.76 (31-36 weeks), and 1.46 ± 0.72 (>36 weeks).
Pregnant women with normal antibody values according to gestational age had values for FT4 and TSH, but not for FT3, that differed to a statistically significant degree. The values we describe can be used as reference values for the Aragon region of Spain.
Background: Autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD), a common organ specific autoimmune disorder is seen mostly in women between 30–50 yrs of age. Thyroid autoimmunity can cause several forms of thyroiditis ranging from hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) to hyperthyroidism (Graves’Disease). Prevalence rate of autoimmune mediated hypothyroidism is about 0.8 per 100 and 95% among them are women. Graves’ disease is about one tenth as common as hypothyroidism and tends to occur more in younger individuals. Both these disorders share many immunologic features and the disease may progress from one state to other as the autoimmune process changes. Genetic, environmental and endogenous factors are responsible for initiation of thyroid autoimmunity. At present the only confirmed genetic factor lies in HLA complex (HLA DR-3) and the T cell regulatory gene (CTLA 4). A number of environmental factors like viral infection, smoking, stress & iodine intake are associated with the disease progression. The development of antibodies to thyroid peroxidase (TPO) thyroglobulin (TG) and Thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSH R) is the main hallmark of AITD. Circulating T Lymphocytes are increased in AITD and thyroid gland is infiltrated with CD4+ and CD8+ T Cells. Wide varieties of cytokines are produced by infiltrated immune cells, which mediate cytotoxicity leading to thyroid cell destruction. Circulating antibodies to TPO and TG are measured by immunofluorescense, hemagglutination, ELISA & RIA. TSHR antibodies of Graves’ disease can be measured in bioassays or indirectly in assays that detect antibody binding to the receptor.
Autoimmune thyroid disease; thyroid peroxidase antibodies; Thyroglobulin antibodies; and TSHR antibodies
To determine the role of peak systolic velocity, end-diastolic velocity and resistance indices of both the right and left inferior thyroid arteries measured by color-flow Doppler ultrasonography for a differential diagnosis between gestational transient thyrotoxicosis and Graves' disease during pregnancy.
The right and left inferior thyroid artery-peak systolic velocity, end-diastolic velocity and resistance indices of 96 patients with thyrotoxicosis (41 with gestational transient thyrotoxicosis, 31 age-matched pregnant patients with Graves' disease and 24 age- and sex-matched non-pregnant patients with Graves' disease) and 25 age- and sex-matched healthy euthyroid subjects were assessed with color-flow Doppler ultrasonography.
The right and left inferior thyroid artery-peak systolic and end-diastolic velocities in patients with gestational transient thyrotoxicosis were found to be significantly lower than those of pregnant patients with Graves' disease and higher than those of healthy euthyroid subjects. However, the right and left inferior thyroid artery peak systolic and end-diastolic velocities in pregnant patients with Graves' disease were significantly lower than those of non-pregnant patients with Graves' disease. The right and left inferior thyroid artery peak systolic and end-diastolic velocities were positively correlated with TSH-receptor antibody levels. We found an overlap between the inferior thyroid artery-blood flow velocities in a considerable number of patients with gestational transient thyrotoxicosis and pregnant patients with Graves' disease.
This study suggests that the measurement of inferior thyroid artery-blood flow velocities with color-flow Doppler ultrasonography does not have sufficient sensitivity and specificity to be recommended as an initial diagnostic test for a differential diagnosis between gestational transient thyrotoxicosis and Graves' disease during pregnancy.
Gestational transient thyrotoxicosis; Graves' disease; Inferior thyroid artery; Color-flow Doppler ultrasonography; Pregnancy
Although gestational hyperthyroidism is uncommon (0.2%), hypothyroidism (autoimmune disease or suboptimal iodine intake) occurs in 2.5% of women and is predictive of reduced neonatal and child neuropsychological development and maternal obstetric complications. Postpartum thyroid dysfunction (PPTD) occurs in 5–9% of women and is associated with antithyroid peroxidase antibodies (antiTPOAb) in 10% of women in early pregnancy. Therefore, screening for thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy should be considered. T4 and thyroid stimulating hormone measurements could be used to screen for hypothyroidism, which would require levothyroxine intervention treatment. T4 supply is crucial to fetal nervous system maturation; currently, the recommended daily iodine intake is 200 μg, and this is not always achieved, even in the UK. At present, a randomised prospective trial is ongoing to provide the evidence base for this screening strategy. Meanwhile, it is reasonable to (a) optimise iodine nutrition during pregnancy; (b) ascertain women with known thyroid disease; (c) identify women at increased risk of thyroid disease—for example, those with other autoimmune diseases. PPTD can be predicted by measurement of antiTPOAb in early gestation.
screening; thyroid; pregnancy; postpartum
Compartmental analysis of the peripheral distribution of labeled thyroxine was applied to various groups of subjects with thyrotoxicosis and hypothyroidism. It was observed that the hepatic incorporation of thyroxine was augmented in subjects with Graves' disease when compared to non-Graves' disease control groups at all levels of thyroid function. Decreased values of hepatic incorporation occurred in primary hypothyroid subjects. These lowered values were not acutely corrected by elevation of the serum thyroxine level, but were observed to be rectified after several months' therapy with exogenous thyroid hormone. These alterations of the hepatic thyroxine-131I incorporation were independently verified by direct quantitative liver scintiscan determinations.
Employing a dual thyroxine tracer system, we were able to demonstrate that during the early phases of equilibration of a tracer dose of thyroxine, alterations in the rate of deiodination were observed to be present in the various thyroid disease states. Increased deiodination rates were found in subjects with Graves' disease and the reverse was noted in patients with primary hypothyroidism. Kinetic analysis of thyroxine compartmental distribution during this early phase of equilibration of a labeled thyroxine tracer indicated that the primary tissue uptake occurred in the liver. These findings supported the contention that the amount of labeled thyroxine incorporated in the liver may be directly related to the deiodination rate of thyroxine by that organ. The pathogenetic basis of these alterations is presently unknown.
The aim of this study is to delineate laboratory diagnostic strategies for subclinical hypothyroidism in patients who are clinically symptomatic but may have a normal thyroid profile. Tri — iodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and anti thyroid peroxidase antibodies (anti-TPO) were estimated on fasting blood samples from 99 patients using electrochemiluminescence methods on ELECSYS 1010 (Roche). 74% of study subjects had elevated anti-TPO levels.61% patients had subclinical hypothyroidism. 45 of the 61 subclinical hypothyroid patients had elevated anti-TPO levels (73%). This is an important finding suggesting an autoimmune etiology for subclinical thyroid dysfunction with a higher risk of developing overt hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism; Thyroid Profile; T3; T4; TSH; Anti TPO
Vitiligo is a common skin disorder, and the pathogenesis is unknown. An increased prevalence of autoimmune thyroid diseases has been described in these patients. The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction and hypoparathyroidism in patients with vitiligo.
Materials and Methods:
One hundred and nine patients (38 males and 71 females with vitiligo were enrolled. Thyroid physical examination was carried out. Thyroid function tests, thyroid antibodies, calcium and phosphorus were assessed. The collected data were analysed by SPSS version 11.
Thyromegaly was found in 30.1% of patients. Hypothyroidism was found in 16 (15.7%) out of 109 cases. Two of them had clinical and 14 had subclinical hypothyroidism. One patient had Grave's disease. Antibody positivity was the most common disorder (anti-TPO and anti-tg were positive in 36.7 and 32.1%, respectively). No patient had hypoparathyroidism.
According to our study, thyroid dysfunction, particulary hypothyroidism and thyroid antibodies increase in patients with vitiligo. We recommend thyroid antibodies assessment and thyroid function evaluation in these patients.
Thyroid antibodies; thyroid dysfunction; vitiligo
To evaluate the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction in elderly cardiac patients in an outpatient setting.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS:
A total of 399 consecutive patients (268 women, age range 60–92 years) who were followed at Heart Institute were evaluated for thyroid dysfunction with serum free T4, TSH, anti-Peroxidase antibodies, urinary iodine excretion measurements and thyroid ultrasound.
Hyperthyroidism (overt and subclinical) was present in 29 patients (6.5%), whereas hypothyroidism (overt and subclinical) was found in 32 individuals (8.1%). Cysts were detected in 11 patients (2.8%), single nodules were detected in 102 (25.6%), and multinodular goiters were detected in 34 (8.5%). Hashimoto’s thyroiditis was present in 16.8% patients, most of whom were women (83.6%). The serum TSH increased with age and was significantly higher (p= <0.01) in patients, compared to the normal control group. No significant differences in serum TSH and free T4 values were observed when patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) where compared with those without arrhythmia. The median urinary iodine levels were 210 μg/L (40–856 μg/L), and iodine levels were higher in men than in women (p<0.01). Excessive iodine intake (urinary iodine >300 μg/L) was observed in one-third of patients (30.8%).
Elderly patients have a higher prevalence of both hypo- and hyperthyroidism as well as thyroid nodules when compared with the general population. About one-third of the older patients had elevated urinary secretion of iodine and a higher prevalence of chronic Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is recommended that ultrasonographic studies, tests for thyroid function and autoimmunity should be evaluated in elderly patients.
Iodine intake; Thyroid dysfunction; Cardiologic patients; Elderly patients; Urinary iodine
A high prevalence of postpartum thyroid dysfunction has been reported in several countries, but there have been no systematic studies of its prevalence in Britain. Among a group of 901 consecutive, unselected pregnant women thyroid autoantibodies were detected in 117 (13%) at booking. The clinical course of postpartum thyroid dysfunction, factors associated with its development, and its likely prevalence were defined in 100 of these women with thyroid antibodies and 120 women with no such antibodies who were matched for age. None of the women had a history of autoimmune thyroid disease. Normal reference ranges for thyroid function during pregnancy and post partum were established in the 120 women negative for thyroid antibodies. On the basis of these observations postpartum thyroid dysfunction was observed in 49 (22%) of the 220 women studied, and the prevalence in the total group of 901 women was estimated to be 16·7%. Thyroid dysfunction, mainly occurring in the first six months post partum, was usually transient and included both destruction induced hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. The development of the syndrome was significantly related to smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day and the presence of thyroid microsomal autoantibodies at booking. Of the 16 women with a family history of thyroid disease in whom thyroid microsomal autoantibody activity was detectable at booking, 11 developed thyroid dysfunction. Age, parity, presence of goitre at presentation, duration of breast feeding, and the sex and birth weight of the infant were not associated with the development of postpartum thyroid dysfunction.
The mood changes experienced by women post partum may in part be associated with altered thyroid function during this time.
Sarcopenia, the age-related decline in muscle mass, affects the muscle strength and muscle quality, and these changes decrease functional capacity. The prevalence of thyroid dysfunction increases with age, and changes in thyroid hormone level lead to neuromuscular deficits. We investigated the effects of subclinical hypothyroidism on the muscle mass, strength or quality in elderly people. One thousand one hundred eighteen subjects aged ≥65 yr were randomly selected from a local population and classified into a euthyroid (280 men and 358 women), subclinically hypothyroid (61 men and 75 women), or overtly hypothyroid (7 men and 16 women) group. Although women with subclinical hypothyroidism had a higher prevalence of sarcopenia, defined according to the ratio of appendicular skeletal muscle mass to the square of height, muscle mass, strength or quality did not differ in relation to thyroid status in men or in women. Multivariate analysis including age, diabetes, hypertension, acute coronary event, alcohol, smoking, presence of pain, physical activity score, and lipid profile, showed that thyroid-stimulating hormone level was not associated with muscle mass, strength or quality. In conclusion, subclinical hypothyroidism has little influences on muscle mass, strength or quality, and may not be associated with sarcopenia.
Sarcopenia; Subclinical Hypothyroidism; Aged
The mounting evidence linking hypothyroidism during pregnancy with poor pregnancy outcome underscores the need for screening and, therefore, a search for more reliable and cheaper screening methods.
The study was conducted in two phases. The phase one study comprised of healthy women in different stages of pregnancy who attended routine antenatal clinic at St Theresa's Maternity Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria from September 6 to October 18 1994. In this study the variables compared between the hypothyroid and non-hypothyroid pregnant women were maternal age, the number of the pregnancy or gravidity, gestational age, social class, body weight, height, the clinically assessed size of the thyroid gland, serum free thyroxin (FT4) and serum thyrotrophin (TSH). Based on the parameter differences between the two comparison groups of pregnant women two Logistic models, Model I and Model 11, were derived to differentiate the hypothyroid group from their non-hypothyroid counterparts. The two logistic models were then applied in a prospective validation study involving 197 pregnant women seen at presentation in Mother of Christ Specialist Hospital and Maternity, Ogui Road, Enugu from March 2002 to November 2007
The findings were that 82 (50.3%) of the 163 pregnant women had thyroid gland enlargement while 60 (36.8%) had hypothyroidism as defined by FT4 values below and/or TSH above their laboratory reference ranges. The pregnant subjects with hypothyroidism, compared with their non-hypothyroid counterparts, were characterized by a higher gravidity (p < 0.01), a higher body weight (p < 0.01), a higher goiter prevalence rate (p < 0.01) and a more advanced gestational age (p < 0.0001). A significant, positive correlation was also found between body weight and gestational age (r = 0.5; p < 0.01) At the cut-off point for Model l (fitted with gravidity, thyroid size and gestational age) it had a sensitivity of 100%, a specificity of 72.8% and an overall predictive accuracy of 82.9%; whereas for Model II (fitted with gravidity, thyroid size and body weight) the sensitivity was 100%, the specificity was 59.2% and the overall accuracy of discrimination was 74.8%. In the prospective validation study both models showed a sensitivity of 100% each with specificities of 85.5% for Model I and 76.2% for Model II.
It is concluded that logistic models fitting gravidity, thyroid gland size and gestational age or body weight are useful alternatives in screening for hypothyroidism during pregnancy. There is, however, a need for further independent confirmation of these findings.
Pregnancy; Thyroid hypo function; Prediction; Screening; Logistic models
It has been twenty years since the first paper reporting the association between thyroid antibodies (TAIs) and spontaneous miscarriage was published. Following this observation, several studies have clearly demonstrated an increased prevalence of TAI in patients with recurrent miscarriage (RM). However, the exact mechanism underlying this association remains a matter of debate. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the thyroid function, throughout a specific test, in patient with RM and TAI focusing on the hypothesis that TAI should be an indirect sign of a mild thyroid dysfunction. 46 patients with RM and TAI were included in the study. All patients underwent short TRH stimulation test showing an abnormal response in the vast majority of cases (65%). Normal FT4 and FT3 mean values were found whereas TSH values were in the upper normal range (2.64 ± 1.3 mUI/L). Our data support the hypothesis that in patients with RM the presence of TAI is an indirect sign of a subtle thyroid dysfunction detectable by a specific test. This test give the possibility to identify women with RM in which specific therapeutic approaches could effectively improve the possibility for a successful pregnancy.
The thyroidal response of pregnant patients with established Hashimoto's thyroiditis remains poorly described. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of pregnancy on Hashimoto's thyroiditis as revealed by changes in postpregnancy levothyroxine requirements.
We performed a retrospective study of 799 hypothyroid patients in a university hospital. We reviewed the clinical records and selected a group of well-documented pregnant (n = 34) and nonpregnant (n = 32) hypothyroid women for study. We reviewed levothyroxine intake and serum thyrotropin (TSH) levels during three consecutive 9-month time intervals that were immediately before, during, and after pregnancy. We compared the percent change in levothyroxine dose between the prepregnancy level and each trimester during and after pregnancy.
There were two patterns of levothyroxine supplementation during gestation. In pattern 1 (n = 11) there was either no change or a single levothyroxine dose increase with no subsequent changes in each trimester (T1 = T2 = T3). In pattern 2 (n = 18), multistep levothyroxine dose increases were required throughout pregnancy (T1 < T2 < T3) to maintain desired TSH levels (<2.0 mU/L). Women with pattern 2 had mean TSH levels during gestation that differed significantly from pattern 1 (2.8 ± 0.5 vs. 1.3 ± 0.1 mU/L respectively; p < 0.03). Further, in multivariate logistic regression, women with pattern 2 were 62 times more likely than women with pattern 1 to have a levothyroxine dose at least 20% above baseline at 3 months postpartum (p = 0.04).
We showed that >50% of hypothyroid women with Hashimoto's thyroiditis experienced an increase in levothyroxine requirements in the postpartum compared to pregestational doses. This pattern of enhanced levothyroxine need was most likely dependent on the preexisting thyroid functional reserve and postpartum progression of autoimmune destruction.
Recent studies in the field of autoimmune thyroid diseases have largely focused on the delineation of B-cell auto-epitopes recognized by the main autoantigens to improve our understanding of how these molecules are seen by the immune system. Among these autoantigens which are targeted by autoantibodies during the development of autoimmune thyroid diseases, thyroid peroxidase is a major player. Indeed, high amounts of anti-thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies are found in the sera of patients suffering from Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, respectively hyper and hypothyroidism. Since anti-thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies from patients'sera mainly recognize a discontinuous immunodominant region on thyroid peroxidase and due to the complexity of the three dimensional structure of human thyroid peroxidase, numerous investigations have been necessary to closely localize this immunodominant region. The aim of the present review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding the localization of the immunodominant region recognized by human thyroid peroxidase-specific autoantibodies generated during the development of autoimmune thyroid diseases.
Autoimmunity; Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO); Autoantibody (aAb); Immunodominant region (IDR); Autoimmune Thyroid Diseases (AITD).
The prevalence of overt and subclinical hypothyroidism during pregnancy is estimated to be 0.3–0.5% and 2–3%, respectively. Thyroid autoantibodies are found in 5–18% of women in the childbearing age. The aim of this review is to underscore the clinical significance of these findings on the health of both the mother and her offspring. Methods of evaluation of thyroid function tests (TFTs) during pregnancy are described as are the threshold values for the diagnosis of overt and subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroxinemia. Anticipated differences in TFTs in iodine-sufficient and iodine-deficient areas are discussed and data are provided on potential complications of hypothyroidism/hypothyroxinemia and autoimmune thyroid disease during pregnancy and adverse effects for the offspring. The beneficial effects of levothyroxine therapy on pregnancy outcomes and offspring development are discussed with a proposed treatment regimen and follow up strategy.
A 36-year-old woman with postpartum hypopituitarism (Sheehan's syndrome: SS) developed postpartum autoimmune thyroiditis (PPAT). She delivered a baby by Caesarean section (620 mL blood loss). At 1 month post partum, she developed thyrotoxicosis due to painless thyroiditis (autoimmune destructive thyroiditis). She was positive for antithyroid antibodies. Postpartum and hypoadrenalism-induced exacerbation of autoimmune thyroiditis caused the thyrotoxicosis due to autoimmune destructive thyroiditis. ACTH was undetectable. She had ACTH deficiency and secondary hypoadrenalism. Hydrocortisone was started. At 6 months post partum, she was referred to us with hypothyroidism. Thyroxine was administered. She had thyrotoxicosis at 1-2 months post partum and then hypothyroidism. She was diagnosed with PPAT. She had hypopituitarism, ACTH deficiency (secondary hypoadrenalism), low prolactin with agalactia, and low LH with failure to resume regular menses. She had empty sella on MRI. She was diagnosed with SS. Three cases with SS have been reported to develop PPAT. Postpartum immunological rebounds and hypoadrenalism-induced immunological alterations (or a combination of the two) might have been responsible for the PPAT.
The two major autoimmune thyroid diseases (ATDs) include Graves' disease (GD) and autoimmune thyroiditis (AT); both of which are characterized by infiltration of the thyroid by T and B cells reactive to thyroid antigens, by the production of thyroid autoantibodies and by abnormal thyroid function (hyperthyroidism in GD and hypothyroidism in AT). While the exact etiology of thyroid autoimmunity is not known, it is believed to develop when a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental encounters leads to breakdown of tolerance. It is important to recognize thyroid dysfunction at an early stage by maintaining an appropriate index of suspicion.
AIMS: To compare the prevalence of thyroid peroxidase antibodies in 25 children with autoimmune thyroid disorders and in 41 children and young adults with type 1 diabetes, and to test the prevalence of thyrotropin receptor antibodies. METHODS: Two commercially available radioimmunoassays for antibodies to thyroid peroxidase, a commercially available agglutination test of particles coated with thyroid microsomal antigens, and a radioimmunoassay for thyrotropin receptor antibodies were used. Patients and controls were studied. RESULTS: One of the radioimmunoassays detected thyroid peroxidase antibodies not only in all children with autoimmune thyroid disorders and children and young adults with type 1 diabetes and thyroid microsomal antibodies, but also in 20% of healthy control children without microsomal antibodies. With this thyroid peroxidase assay and with microsomal agglutination, 94% of the children with autoimmune thyroiditis, 71% of those with Graves' disease, and over 90% of those with type 1 diabetes and thyroid dysfunction tested positive. In the other radioimmunoassay for thyroid peroxidase antibodies thyroid peroxidase antibody titres in half or more of the children with microsomal antibodies failed to reach the level of positivity given by the producers. Eighty five percent of children with Graves' disease and 71% of those with autoimmune thyroiditis had thyrotropin receptor antibodies but so did 35% of children studied for other endocrinological disorders such as delayed growth or puberty. CONCLUSIONS: Testing patients with well characterised disorders of thyroid function and with other endocrine disorders is important in evaluating the efficacy of new diagnostic tests for thyroid autoantibodies.
The study aims to assess the pattern of thyroid response to combination Interferon-α2β (IFN-α) and Ribavirin (RBV) anti-viral therapy in an Australian hepatitis C cohort. These include the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction (TD) including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism and their possible predictors, the common overall pattern of thyroid function tests whilst receiving therapy and TD outcomes, and the correlation with HCV status outcome.
A retrospective analysis of all medical records was performed to assess thyroid function in Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) patients who were treated at the Hunter Area hepatitis C treatment center between 1995 and March 2004. The centre is part of the John Hunter hospital, a major tertiary referral centre in New South Wales, Australia.
There were 272 cases available for review. The prevalence of TD is 6.7 percent and is made up predominantly of females (80 percent). There were 3 (1.1 percent) cases of hyperthyroidism with 2 (67 percent) females. Thirteen out of fifteen (80 percent) cases of hypothyroidism were females with the overall prevalence of 5.5 percent. The majority of hypothyroid patients still required Thyroxine supplement at the end of follow up.
Ninety three percent of HCV treated patients have intact thyroid function at the end of treatment. The predominant TD is hypothyroidism. The predominant pattern of thyrotoxicosis (TTX) is that of thyroiditis although the number is small. Graves' like disease was not observed. People with pre-existing thyroid auto-antibodies should be closely monitored for thyroid dysfunction, particularly hypothyroidism.
Out of 38 patients who had undergone subtotal thyroidectomy for Graves's disease seven to 20 years previously 15 developed hypothyroidism. In these 15 patients autoantibodies against thyroid cytoplasm were significantly more frequent than in the 23 euthyroid patients, though there was no difference in the prevalence of autoantibodies against thyroglobulin. Histological examination of the thyroid tissue removed at operation showed that significantly more plasma cells and lymphoid follicles with germinal centres were present in patients who subsequently developed hypothyroidism than in those who remained euthyroid. No differences in the amount of lymphocytic infiltration were seen in hypothyroid and euthyroid patients.
The results suggest that B lymphocytes play a part in the development of postoperative hypothyroidism in Graves's disease. It is proposed that Graves's disease and Hashimoto's disease are different aspects of the same basic autoimmune process.
Graves' disease is a thyroid-specific autoimmune disorder in which the body makes antibodies to the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor leading to hyperthyroidism. Therapeutic options for the treatment of Graves' disease include medication, radioactive iodine ablation, and surgery. Radioactive iodine is absolutely contraindicated in pregnancy as exposure to I-131 to the fetal thyroid can result in fetal hypothyroidism and cretinism. Here we describe a case of a female patient with recurrent Graves' disease, who inadvertently received I-131 therapy when she was estimated to be eight days pregnant. This was despite the obtaining of a negative history of pregnancy and a negative urine pregnancy test less than 24 hours prior to ablation. At birth, the infant was found to have neonatal Graves' disease. The neonatal Graves' disease resolved spontaneously. It was suspected that the fetal thyroid did not trap any I-131 as it does not concentrate iodine until 10 weeks of gestation.
Accumulating evidence suggests that hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis dysfunction is relevant to the pathophysiology and clinical course of bipolar affective disorder. Hypothyroidism, either overt or more commonly subclinical, appears to the commonest abnormality found in bipolar disorder. The prevalence of thyroid dysfunction is also likely to be greater among patients with rapid cycling and other refractory forms of the disorder. Lithium-treatment has potent antithyroid effects and can induce hypothyroidism or exacerbate a preexisting hypothyroid state. Even minor perturbations of the HPT axis may affect the outcome of bipolar disorder, necessitating careful monitoring of thyroid functions of patients on treatment. Supplementation with high dose thyroxine can be considered in some patients with treatment-refractory bipolar disorder. Neurotransmitter, neuroimaging, and genetic studies have begun to provide clues, which could lead to an improved understanding of the thyroid-bipolar disorder connection, and more optimal ways of managing this potentially disabling condition.
Primary thyrotoxicosis may be regarded as having two main components—thyroid overactivity or dysfunction, and instability of the autonomic nervous system. Clinical observation suggests that the proportion of each component varies in individual cases. Results of treatment show that the larger the thyroid element the greater is the benefit of thyroidectomy or X-ray therapy, and the fewer the subsequent residual signs. When nervous instability predominates less relief is obtained by surgery or X-rays, and symptoms may be little changed or even made worse by the addition of hypothyroidism.
Cases in which nervous instability predominates, with minimal thyroid dysfunction, have been termed “autonomic imbalance”, “neurocirculatory asthenia”, or “Basedow's disease with no thyrotoxicosis”.
Thirteen such cases are described, all of which were females, with average age of 32 years. 9 had enlarged thyroids, 11 complained of palpitations, and 8 of excessive sweating.
The basal metabolic rate, estimated in 8 cases, did not exceed +10%. There was some loss of weight in 6 cases, but in none was the appetite increased. The average diurnal pulse-rate did not exceed 95 and sleeping pulse was significantly lower. X-rays of heart, taken in 6 cases, were normal. Psychological troubles in 6 cases. Three cases treated by X-ray therapy and I surgically with no benefit. Remaining 10 cases treated medically with improvement. The group is ill-defined and requires further investigation of cause and treatment.
The recognition of autonomic imbalance is important in order to avoid useless thyroidectomy or X-ray therapy, and encourage more extended use of psychotherapy. Investigation of its cause may yield information of value in the ætiological problem of thyrotoxicosis.
Seventy-nine patients with hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroid disease were studied, and allotted to one of four categories on the basis of clinical and biochemical features. Firstly, patients with overt hypothyroidism had obvious clinical features of hypothyroidism and abnormal results from routine tests of thyroid function. Secondly, those with mild hypothyroidism, however, had minor and non-specific symptoms, but the routine measurements of circulating thyroid hormone concentration generally lay within the normal range, although they were significantly lower than those seen in subclinical hypothyroidism or in normal subjects. The serum concentration of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) was raised in this group and their symptoms resolve with treatment. Thirdly, patients with subclinical hypothyroidism were asymptomatic, had a raised serum TSH concentration, but all other measurements of thyroid function are indistinguishable from those recorded in people with autoimmune thyroid disease without disturbance of thyroid function and in normal subjects. Lastly, subjects with circulating thyroid antibodies, normal indices of thyroid function, and a normal serum TSH concentration were indistinguishable biochemically from normal subjects.
Thus hypothyroidism is a graded phenomenon, the most valuable features for defining the individual grade being the clinical manifestations, the serum TSH concentration, and the presence of circulating antibodies to thyroid tissue.