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Open access

Furio Pacini, Dagmar Fuhrer, Rossella Elisei, Daria Handkiewicz-Junak, Sophie Leboulleux, Markus Luster, Martin Schlumberger, and Johannes W Smit

Modern use of post-operative radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment for differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) should be implemented in line with patients’ risk stratification. Although beneficial effects of radioiodine are undisputed in high-risk patients, controversy remains in intermediate-risk and some low-risk patients. Since the last consensus on post-surgical use of RAI in DTC patients, new retrospective data and results of prospective randomized trials have been published, which have allowed the development of a new European Thyroid Association (ETA) statement for the indications of post-surgical RAI therapy in DTC. Questions about which patients are candidates for RAI therapy, which activities of RAI can be used, and which modalities of pre-treatment patient preparation should be used are addressed in the present guidelines.

Open access

Christiaan F Mooij, Timothy D Cheetham, Frederik A Verburg, Anja Eckstein, Simon H Pearce, Juliane Léger, and A S Paul van Trotsenburg

Hyperthyroidism caused by Graves’ disease (GD) is a relatively rare disease in children. Treatment options are the same as in adults – antithyroid drugs (ATD), radioactive iodine (RAI) or thyroid surgery, but the risks and benefits of each modality are different. The European Thyroid Association guideline provides new recommendations for the management of pediatric GD with and without orbitopathy. Clinicians should be alert that GD may present with behavioral changes or declining academic performance in children. Measurement of serum TSH receptor antibodies is recommended for all pediatric patients with hyperthyroidism. Management recommendations include the first-line use of a prolonged course of methimazole/carbimazole ATD treatment (3 years or more), a preference for dose titration instead of block and replace ATD, and to avoid propylthiouracil use. Where definitive treatment is required either total thyroidectomy or RAI is recommended, aiming for complete thyroid ablation with a personalized RAI activity. We recommend avoiding RAI in children under 10 years of age but favor surgery in patients with large goiter. Pediatric endocrinologists should be involved in all cases.

Open access

Joanna Bogusławska, Marlena Godlewska, Ewa Gajda, and Agnieszka Piekiełko-Witkowska

Autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) is the most common human autoimmune disease. The two major clinical manifestations of AITD are Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT). AITD is characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of the thyroid gland, leading either to follicular cell damage, thyroid gland destruction, and development of hypothyroidism (in HT) or thyroid hyperplasia, induced by thyroid antibodies which activate thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) on thyrocytes, leading to hyperthyroidism. The aim of this review is to present up-to-date picture of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the pathology of AITD. Based on studies involving patients, animal AITD models, and thyroid cell lines, we discuss the key events leading to the loss of immune tolerance to thyroid autoantigens as well as the signaling cascades leading to the destruction of thyroid gland. Special focus is given on the interplay between the environmental and genetic factors, as well as ncRNAs and microbiome contributing to AITD development. In particular, we describe mechanistic models by which SNPs in genes involved in immune regulation and thyroid function, such as CD40, TSHR, FLT3, and PTPN22, underlie AITD predisposition. The clinical significance of novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers based on ncRNAs and microbiome composition is also underscored. Finally, we discuss the possible significance of probiotic supplementation on thyroid function in AITD.

Open access

Georgiana Sitoris, Flora Veltri, Pierre Kleynen, Malika Ichiche, Serge Rozenberg, and Kris G Poppe

Objective

It is unknown if foetal gender influences maternal thyroid function during pregnancy. We therefore investigated the prevalence of thyroid disorders and determined first-trimester TSH reference ranges according to gender.

Methods

A cross-sectional study involving 1663 women with an ongoing pregnancy was conducted. Twin and assisted pregnancies and l-thyroxine or antithyroid treatment before pregnancy were exclusion criteria. Serum TSH, free T4 (FT4) and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) were measured at median (interquartile range; IQR) 13 (11–17) weeks of gestation. Subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) was present when serum TSH levels were >3.74 mIU/L with normal FT4 levels (10.29–18.02 pmol/L), and thyroid autoimmunity (TAI) was present when TPOAb were ≥60 kIU/L.

Results

Eight hundred and forty-seven women were pregnant with a female foetus (FF) and 816 with a male foetus (MF). In women without TAI and during the gestational age period between 9 and 13 weeks (with presumed high-serum hCG levels), median (IQR range) serum TSH in the FF group was lower than that in the MF group: 1.13 (0.72–1.74) vs 1.24 (0.71–1.98) mIU/L; P = 0.021. First-trimester gender-specific TSH reference range was 0.03–3.53 mIU/L in the FF group and 0.03–3.89 mIU/L in the MF group. The prevalence of SCH and TAI was comparable between the FF and MF group: 4.4% vs 5.4%; P = 0.345 and 4.9% vs 7.5%; P = 0.079, respectively.

Conclusions

Women pregnant with an MF have slightly but significantly higher TSH levels and a higher upper limit of the first-trimester TSH reference range, compared with pregnancies with a FF. We hypothesise that this difference may be related to higher hCG levels in women pregnant with a FF, although we were unable to measure hCG in this study. Further studies are required to investigate if this difference has any clinical relevance.

Open access

Takaaki Konishi, Michimasa Fujiogi, Nobuaki Michihata, Takayoshi Niwa, Kojiro Morita, Hiroki Matsui, Kiyohide Fushimi, Masahiko Tanabe, Yasuyuki Seto, and Hideo Yasunaga

Introduction

Recent studies have shown worse post-operative outcomes following several surgeries in underweight or obese patients. However, the association between body mass index (BMI) and short-term outcomes following thyroid cancer surgery remains unclear because of the small number of patients, deficits in background data known as risk factors (e.g. cancer stage, operative procedure, intraoperative device use and hospital volume) and categorisation of BMI.

Methods

We identified patients who underwent thyroidectomy for differentiated thyroid cancer from July 2010 to March 2017 using a Japanese nationwide inpatient database. We used restricted cubic spline (RCS) analyses to investigate potential non-linear associations between BMI (without categorisation) and outcomes: post-operative complications (local and general), duration of anaesthesia, post-operative length of hospital stay and hospitalisation costs. The analyses were adjusted for demographic and clinical backgrounds including the above-stated factors. We also performed multivariable regression analyses for the outcomes with categorisation of BMI.

Results

Among 59,671 eligible patients, the median BMI was 22.9 kg/m2 (interquartile range (IQR), 20.7–25.6 kg/m2). In total, 3860 patients (6.5%) had local complications and 787 patients (1.3%) had general complications. Although there were no significant associations with local complications, such as bleeding, recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis and surgical site infection, the occurrence of general complications was significantly associated with higher BMI. BMI showed a linear association with the duration of anaesthesia and U-shaped associations with post-operative length of stay and hospitalisation costs. The lowest points of the U-shaped curves occurred at a BMI of approximately 24 kg/m2. The multivariate regression analyses showed consistent results with the RCS analyses.

Discussion/conclusion

Whereas RCS analyses revealed no significant associations between BMI and post-operative local complications, obesity was significantly associated with the occurrence of general complications. The linear association between BMI and duration of anaesthesia corresponds to previous studies. Although post-operative length of stay and total hospitalisation costs demonstrated U-shaped associations, the slight differences would not be clinically important. Even if surgeons must pay attention to general complications in obese patients undergoing thyroid cancer surgery as well as other surgeries, underweight and overweight patients can undergo thyroidectomy as safely as patients with normal BMI.

Open access

Claire L Wood, Niamh Morrison, Michael Cole, Malcolm Donaldson, David B Dunger, Ruth Wood, Simon H S Pearce, and Timothy D Cheetham

Objective

Patients with thyrotoxicosis are treated with anti-thyroid drug (ATD) using block and replace (BR) or a smaller, titrated dose of ATD (dose titration, DT).

Design

A multi-centre, phase III, open-label trial of newly diagnosed paediatric thyrotoxicosis patients randomised to BR/DT. We compared the biochemical response to BR/DT in the first 6 months of therapy.

Methods

Patients commenced 0.75 mg/kg carbimazole (CBZ) daily with randomisation to BR/DT. We examined baseline patient characteristics, CBZ dose, time to serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)/free thyroxine (FT4) normalisation and BMI Z-score change.

Results

There were 80 patients (baseline) and 78 patients (61 female) at 6 months. Mean CBZ dose was 0.9 mg/kg/day (BR) and 0.5 mg/kg/day (DT). There was no difference in time to non-suppressed TSH concentration; 16 of 39 patients (BR) and 11 of 39 (DT) had suppressed TSH at 6 months. Patients with suppressed TSH had higher mean baseline FT4 levels (72.7 vs 51.7 pmol/L; 95% CI for difference 1.73, 31.7; P = 0.029). Time to normalise FT4 levels was reduced in DT (log-rank test, P = 0.049) with 50% attaining normal FT4 at 28 days (95% CI 25, 32) vs 35 days in BR (95% CI 28, 58). Mean BMI Z-score increased from 0.10 to 0.81 at 6 months (95% CI for difference 0.57, 0.86; P < 0.001) and was greatest in patients with higher baseline FT4 concentrations.

Conclusions

DT-treated patients normalised FT4 concentrations more quickly than BR. Overall, 94% of patients have normal FT4 levels after 6 months, but 33% still have TSH suppression. Excessive weight gain occurs with both BR and DT therapy.

Open access

Maria Lopes-Pereira, Anna Quialheiro, Patrício Costa, Susana Roque, Nadine Correia Santos, Margarida Correia-Neves, Ana Goios, Ivone Carvalho, Tim I M Korevaar, Laura Vilarinho, and Joana Almeida Palha

Objectives

Over 1.9 billion people worldwide are living in areas estimated to be iodine insufficient. Strategies for iodine supplementation include campaigns targeting vulnerable groups, such as women in pre-conception, pregnancy and lactation. Portuguese women of childbearing age and pregnant women were shown to be mildly-to-moderately iodine deficient. As a response, in 2013, the National Health Authority (NHA) issued a recommendation that all women considering pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding, take a daily supplement of 150–200 μg iodine. This study explored how the iodine supplementation recommendation has been fulfilled among pregnant and lactating women in Portugal, and whether the reported iodine supplements intake impacted on adverse obstetric and neonatal outcomes.

Design and methods

Observational retrospective study on pregnant women who delivered or had a fetal loss in the Braga Hospital and had their pregnancies followed in Family Health Units.

Results

The use of iodine supplements increased from 25% before the recommendation to 81% after the recommendation. This was mostly due to an increase in the use of supplements containing iodine only. Iodine supplementation was protective for the number of adverse obstetric outcomes (odds ratio (OR) = 0.791, P = 0.018) and for neonatal morbidities (OR = 0.528, P = 0.024) after controlling for relevant confounding variables.

Conclusion

The recommendation seems to have succeeded in implementing iodine supplementation during pregnancy. National prospective studies are now needed to evaluate the impact of iodine supplementation on maternal thyroid homeostasis and offspring psychomotor development and on whether the time of the beginning of iodine supplementation (how early during preconception or pregnancy) is relevant to consider.

Open access

Jorge Alberto Tapia-Martínez, Margarita Franco-Colín, Vanessa Blas-Valdivia, and Edgar Cano-Europa

Introduction

Congenital hypothyroidism affects metabolic and thyroid programming, having a deleterious effect on bodyweight regulation promoting metabolic diseases. This work aimed to demonstrate the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) in animals with congenital hypothyroidism, only by the consumption of a mild hypercaloric diet in the extrauterine stage.

Methods

Two groups of female Wistar rats (n  = 9): euthyroid and hypothyroid were used. Hypothyroidism was induced by a thyroidectomy with parathyroid reimplantation. Male offsprings post-weaning were divided into four groups (n  = 10): euthyroid, hypothyroid, euthyroid + hypercaloric diet, and hypothyroid + hypercaloric diet. The hypercaloric diet consisted of ground commercial feed plus 20% lard and was administered until postnatal week 40. Bodyweight and energy intake were monitored weekly. Also, metabolic and hormonal markers related to cardiovascular risk, insulin resistance, and glucose tolerance were analyzed at week 40. Then, animals were sacrificed to perform the morphometric analysis of the pancreas and adipose tissue.

Results

T2D was developed in animals fed a hypercaloric diet denoted by the presence of central obesity, hyperphagia, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and hypertension, as well as changes in the cytoarchitecture of the pancreas and adipose tissue related to T2D. The results show that congenital hypothyroid animals had an increase in metabolic markers and an elevated cardiovascular risk.

Conclusions

Congenital hypothyroid animals develop T2D, having the highest metabolic disturbances and a worsened clinical prognosis than euthyroid animals.

Open access

J L Reverter, L Ferrer-Estopiñan, F Vázquez, S Ballesta, S Batule, A Perez-Montes de Oca, C Puig-Jové, and M Puig-Domingo

Introduction

Computer-aided diagnostic (CAD) programs for malignancy risk stratification from ultrasound (US) imaging of thyroid nodules are being validated both experimentally and in real-world practice. However, they have not been tested for reliability in analyzing difficult or unclear images.

Methods

US images with indeterminate characteristics were evaluated by five observers with different experience in US examination and by a commercial CAD program. The nodules, on which the observers widely agreed, were considered concordant and, if there was little agreement, not concordant or difficult to assess. The diagnostic performance of the readers and the CAD program was calculated and compared in both groups of nodule images.

Results

In the group of concordant thyroid nodules (n = 37), the clinicians and the CAD system obtained similar levels of accuracy (77.0% vs 74.2%, respectively; P = 0.7) and no differences were found in sensitivity (SEN) (95.0% vs 87.5%, P = 0.2), specificity (SPE) (45.5 vs 49.4, respectively; P = 0.7), positive predictive value (PPV) (75.2% vs 77.7%, respectively; P = 0.8), nor negative predictive value (NPV) (85.6 vs 77.7, respectively; P = 0.3). When analyzing the non-concordant nodules (n = 43), the CAD system presented a decrease in accuracy of 4.2%, which was significantly lower than that observed by the experts (19.9%, P = 0.02).

Conclusions

Clinical observers are similar to the CAD system in the US assessment of the risk of thyroid nodules. However, the AI system for thyroid nodules AmCAD-UT® showed more reliability in the analysis of unclear or misleading images.

Open access

Laure Felix, Peggy Jacon, Maxime Lugosi, Justine Cristante, Julie Roux, and Olivier Chabre

Background and Objective

It has been reported recently in a cross sectional study that patients with amiodarone induced thyrotoxicosis (AIT) showed a ‘white’ thyroid on unenhanced computed tomography, due to intrathyroid iodine accumulation. However, the link between increase in thyroid radiologic density and amiodarone induced thyrotoxicosis remains unknown. We sought to analyze this link.

Methods

We present the case of a 34-year-old patient with severe sarcoidosis-related hypertrophic cardiomyopathy who was followed with successive unenhanced CT scans integrated with FDG PET scans. After the first CT scans the patient, who initially had a normal thyroid function, was exposed to amiodarone during 23 months and developed AIT, very likely by thyroiditis (AIT type 2). There were no thyroid antibodies, no evidence of thyroid sarcoidosis on FDG PET scan, while thyroid sonogram showed a homogenous 22 ml moderate goiter with normal echogenicity and no nodules.

Results

Analysis of the successive enhanced CT scans revealed that after initiation of amiodarone treatment, thyroid radiologic density steadily increased before detection of AIT, peaked after cessation of amiodarone and initiation of thyrotoxicosis treatment, before returning to normal as thyrotoxicosis receded. Thyroid volume also showed a moderate increase, peaking at the detection of thyrotoxicosis, before returning to normal.

Conclusion

This case suggests that AIT is preceded by a very high intrathyroid iodine accumulation before the ‘burst’ of thyroiditis occurs and that measurements of thyroid gland radiological density might predict the development and remission of AIT.