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Open access

Xichang Wang, Xiaochun Teng, Chenyan Li, Yushu Li, Jing Li, Weiping Teng, Zhongyan Shan, and Yaxin Lai

Objective

To conduct a questionnaire survey of the current clinical practice for overt hyperthyroidism in China.

Methods

An online questionnaire survey was conducted in July 2020. The two questionnaires covered 35 and 8 questions about non-pregnancy and pregnancy clinical practice for overt hyperthyroidism, respectively.

Results

One thousand, two hundred fifty-six physicians participated. Chief physicians and associate chief physicians accounted for 58.6% of the participants. Approximately 95.2% of the respondents chose the thyrotropin receptor antibody (TRAb) test to clarify the etiology of thyrotoxicosis, while only 27.0% of them chose radioactive iodine uptake (RAIU). In terms of treatment for non-pregnant patients, anti-thyroid drugs (ATDs) were the first choice, and most of the clinicians chose methimazole. Compared with clinicians in recent studies, Chinese physicians used serum TRAb to diagnose Graves’ disease more commonly, and there were obviously more physicians preferring ATDs. For maternal hyperthyroidism, most physicians preferred propylthiouracil administration before or during the first trimester, which is consistent with the 2016 American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines. In terms of the initial ATD dose, monitoring the treatment process, indications for ATD withdrawal and treatment of special cases, the preferences of Chinese physicians were generally consistent with the guidelines.

Conclusion

Chinese physicians can generally follow the ATA guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of hyperthyroidism. Moreover, there are small differences from foreign studies or the guidelines with respect to particular problems. These findings provide evidence for future clinical research in China.

Open access

Antonina Khoruzhenko, Françoise Miot, Claude Massart, Jacqueline Van Sande, Jacques Emile Dumont, Renaud Beauwens, and Alain Boom

Background

Long-term maintenance of functional activity of thyroid cells is an essential requirement for basic in vitro studies on the physiology and pathology of the thyroid. An important prerequisite of thyrocytes’ functional activity in vivo and in vitro is their follicle organization.

Aim

This study aimed at developing a method of cultivation of functionally active rat thyroid follicles in Matrigel under three-dimensional conditions.

Methods

Undamaged rat thyroid follicles were isolated by enzymatic digestion with collagenase/dispase, then embedded into Matrigel, and cultivated for 2 weeks. Thyroglobulin, thyroxine and zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) localization were revealed by immunofluorescence analysis. Iodide organification was tested by protein-bound 125I (PBI) measurement.

Results

Integrity of the follicles was preserved during the whole period of cultivation and was confirmed by 3D reconstruction of ZO-1 localization. Thyroglobulin was detected in the thyrocyte cytoplasm, as well as in the intrafollicular lumen. Thyroxine was observed predominantly at the apical side of thyrocytes. Also, generated cultures were characterized by a high level of iodide organification: PB125I represented 39% of the total radioactivity in the Matrigel drop embedding the follicles; at the same time, methimazole almost totally inhibited this process (0.2% of total radioactivity).

Conclusion

The method of rat thyrocyte cultivation in Matrigel, as described here allows to maintain the structural integrity and the functional activity of thyroid follicles in vitro and could be used for wide ranges of basic and applied researches in thyroidology.

Open access

Maria Giannakou, Katerina Saltiki, Emily Mantzou, Eleni Loukari, Georgios Philippou, Konstantinos Terzidis, Charalampos Stavrianos, Miltiades Kyprianou, Theodora Psaltopoulou, Kalliopi Karatzi, and Maria Alevizaki

Objective

Increased oxidative stress has been described in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether high oxidative stress is further influenced by obesity and dietary habits in euthyroid women with HT.

Methods

Two hundred eighteen consecutive euthyroid women with HT were studied and separated in two groups; 102 with thyroxine replacement and 114 without. For the evaluation of oxidative stress, total lipid peroxide levels in serum (TOS) were measured and recoded as ‘high TOS’ vs ‘medium/low TOS’. The type of food and consumption frequency were recorded. Two binary variables were considered; normal vs low fruit consumption and daily vs sporadic vegetable consumption.

Results

‘High TOS’ was more frequent in women under thyroxine replacement (31.4% vs 14.7%, OR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.4–5.2). The prevalence of ‘high TOS’ was higher among overweight/obese women compared to women with normal BMI (30.4% vs 12.5%, OR = 3.1, 95% CI: 1.5–6.4). Low fruit consumption was associated with increased ‘high TOS’ prevalence (30.6% vs 12.9%, OR = 3.0, 95% CI: 1.4–6.2). Sporadic vegetable consumption was associated with increased ‘high TOS’ prevalence compared to daily consumption (29.9% vs 13.5%, OR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.3–5.7). The examined risk factors were independent and additive in their effect on TOS. At least three risk factors had to be concomitantly present for the likelihood of ‘high TOS’ to be significantly elevated.

Conclusions

Oxidative stress is increased in women with HT under thyroxine replacement. Nevertheless, normal BMI, daily fruit and vegetable consumption, all contribute in maintaining oxidative stress at low levels.

Open access

Dimitra Argyro Vassiliadi, Ioannis Ilias, Maria Pratikaki, Edison Jahaj, Alice G Vassiliou, Maria Detsika, Kleio Ampelakiotou, Marina Koulenti, Konstantinos N Manolopoulos, Stamatis Tsipilis, Evdokia Gavrielatou, Aristidis Diamantopoulos, Alexandros Zacharis, Nicolaos Athanasiou, Stylianos Orfanos, Anastasia Kotanidou, Stylianos Tsagarakis, and Ioanna Dimopoulou

Objective

Following the evolution of COVID-19 pandemic, reports pointed on a high prevalence of thyroiditis-related thyrotoxicosis. Interpretation of thyroid tests during illness, however, is hampered by changes occurring in the context of non-thyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS). In order to elucidate these findings, we studied thyroid function in carefully selected cohorts of COVID-19 positive and negative patients.

Design

Cohort observational study.

Methods

We measured TSH, FT4, T3 within 24 h of admission in 196 patients without thyroid disease and/or confounding medications. In this study, 102 patients were SARS-CoV-2 positive; 41 admitted in the ICU, 46 in the ward and 15 outpatients. Controls consisted of 94 SARS-CoV-2 negative patients; 39 in the ICU and 55 in the ward. We designated the thyroid hormone patterns as consistent with NTIS, thyrotoxicosis and hypothyroidism.

Results

A NTIS pattern was encountered in 60% of ICU and 36% of ward patients, with similar frequencies between SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative patients (46.0% vs 46.8%, P = NS). A thyrotoxicosis pattern was observed in 14.6% SARS-CoV-2 ICU patients vs 7.7% in ICU negative (P = NS) and, overall in 8.8% of SARS-CoV-2 positive vs 7.4% of negative patients. In these patients, thyroglobulin levels were similar to those with normal thyroid function or NTIS. The hypothyroidism pattern was rare.

Conclusions

NTIS pattern is common and relates to the severity of disease rather than SARS-CoV-2 infection. A thyrotoxicosis pattern is less frequently observed with similar frequency between patients with and without COVID-19. It is suggested that thyroid hormone monitoring in COVID-19 should not differ from other critically ill patients.

Open access

Salman Razvi, Sanaa Mrabeti, and Markus Luster

The current standard of care for hypothyroidism is levothyroxine (LT4) monotherapy to reduce levels of thyrotropin (thyroid-stimulating hormone, TSH) within its reference range and amelioration of any symptoms. A substantial minority continues to report hypothyroid-like symptoms despite optimized TSH, however. These symptoms are not specific to thyroid dysfunction and are frequent among the euthyroid population, creating a therapeutic dilemma for the treating clinician as well as the patient. We present a concise, narrative review of the clinical research and evidence-based guidance on the management of this challenging population. The clinician may endeavor to ensure that the serum TSH is within the target range. However, the symptomatic patient may turn to alternative non-evidence-based therapies in the hope of obtaining relief. Accordingly, it is important for the clinician to check for conditions unrelated to the thyroid that could account for the ongoing symptoms such as other autoimmune conditions, anemia or mental health disorders. Systematic and thorough investigation of the potential causes of persistent symptoms while receiving LT4 therapy will resolve the problem for most patients. There may be some patients that may benefit from additional treatment with liothyronine (LT3), although it is unclear as yet as to which patient group may benefit the most from combined LT4 + LT3 therapy. In the future, personalized treatment with LT4 + LT3 may be of benefit for some patients with persistent symptoms of hypothyroidism such as those with polymorphisms in the deiodinase enzyme 2 (DIO2). For now, this remains a subject for research.

Open access

Amir Bashkin, Eliran Yaakobi, Marina Nodelman, and Ohad Ronen

TSH routine testing in hospitalized patients has low efficacy, but may be beneficial in a selected subgroup of patients. Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of routine thyroid function tests among patients admitted to internal medicine departments. It is a retrospective study. A randomly selected cohort of hospitalized patients with abnormal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) blood tests drawn as part of admission protocol. Patient data were collected from the electronic medical files and analyzed for its efficacy. TSH as a screening test was proven unnecessary in 75% (174) of the study population. Leading causes were non-thyroidal illness syndrome, drugs affecting the test results and subclinical disorders. TSH testing was found to be clinically helpful in only 9 patients; however, all of them had other clinical need for TSH testing. We found a clinically abnormal TSH in 20 patients, hypothyroidism in 11 patients and thyrotoxicosis in 9 patients. Low efficacy ascribed to TSH screening test by this study correlates with recent recommendations that indicate TSH screening in admitted patients only with accompanying clinical suspicion. Most probably, the majority of patients found by screening to have thyrotoxicosis have non-thyroidal illness or drug effects so the threshold for FT4 to diagnose overt thyrotoxicosis should be higher than that in ambulatory patients. In elderly patients, clinically relevant TSH disturbances are more frequent and are harder to diagnose, therefore, TSH screening in this group of patients might be beneficial.

Open access

Caroline Serrano-Nascimento, Rafael Barrera Salgueiro, Kaio Fernando Vitzel, Thiago Pantaleão, Vânia Maria Corrêa da Costa, and Maria Tereza Nunes

Adequate maternal iodine consumption during pregnancy and lactation guarantees normal thyroid hormones (TH) production, which is crucial to the development of the fetus. Indeed, iodine deficiency is clearly related to maternal hypothyroidism and deleterious effects in the fetal development. Conversely, the effects of iodine excess (IE) consumption on maternal thyroid function are still controversial. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the impact of IE exposure during pregnancy and lactation periods on maternal hypothalamus–pituitary–thyroid axis. IE-exposed dams presented reduced serum TH concentration and increased serum thyrotropin (TSH) levels. Moreover, maternal IE exposure increased the hypothalamic expression of Trh and the pituitary expression of Trhr, Dio2, Tsha and Tshb mRNA, while reduced the Gh mRNA content. Additionally, IE-exposed dams presented thyroid morphological alterations, increased thyroid oxidative stress and decreased expression of thyroid genes/proteins involved in TH synthesis, secretion and metabolism. Furthermore, Dio1 mRNA expression and D1 activity were reduced in the liver and the kidney of IE-treated animals. Finally, the mRNA expression of Slc5a5 and Slc26a4 were reduced in the mammary gland of IE-exposed rats. The latter results are in accordance with the reduction of prolactin expression and serum levels in IE-treated dams. In summary, our study indicates that the exposure to IE during pregnancy and lactation induces primary hypothyroidism in rat dams and impairs iodide transfer to the milk.

Open access

Yun Cai, Jieni Yan, Yong Gu, Heng Chen, Yang Chen, Xinyu Xu, Mei Zhang, Liping Yu, Xuqin Zheng, and Tao Yang

Objective

The most common coexisting organ-specific autoimmune disease in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD). However, there have been few clinical reports based on a large population about the prevalence of zinc transporter 8 autoantibody (ZnT8A) and other islet autoantibodies in AITD patients. We aimed to explore the presence of islet autoantibodies, ZnT8A, glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies (GADA) and insulinoma-associated antigen 2 autoantibodies (IA-2A) compared with thyroid autoantibodies, thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin autoantibodies (TGAb) and thyrotropin receptor autoantibodies (TRAb) in patients with Graves’ disease (GD), Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) and T1DM patients with AITD.

Methods

Totally, 389 patients with GD, 334 patients with HT, 108 T1DM patients with AITD and 115 healthy controls (HC) were recruited in the study. Islet autoantibodies (ZnT8A, GADA and IA-2A) were detected by radioligand binding assay. Thyroid autoantibodies, TPOAb and TGAb were detected by chemiluminescence assay, and TRAb was detected by RIA.

Results

The prevalence of ZnT8A, GADA and IA-2A was higher in GD and HT patients than that of HC (ZnT8A: GD 8.48%, HT 10.8% vs HC 1.74%; GADA: GD 7.46%, HT 7.74% vs HC 0.870%; IA-2A: GD 4.88%, HT 3.59% vs HC 0%; All P < 0.05) but lower than that of T1DM subjects with AITD (ZnT8A: 42.6%; IA-2A: 44.4%; GADA: 74.1%; all P < 0.0001).

Conclusions

An increased prevalence of ZnT8A as well as GADA and IA-2A was found in both GD and HT patients, indicating that there is a potential link between thyroid autoimmunity and islet autoimmunity.

Open access

L Johnsen, N B Lyckegaard, P Khanal, B Quistorff, K Raun, and M O Nielsen

Objective

We aimed to test, whether fetal under- or overnutrition differentially program the thyroid axis with lasting effects on energy metabolism, and if early-life postnatal overnutrition modulates implications of prenatal programming.

Design

Twin-pregnant sheep (n = 36) were either adequately (NORM), under- (LOW; 50% of NORM) or overnourished (HIGH; 150% of energy and 110% of protein requirements) in the last-trimester of gestation. From 3 days-of-age to 6 months-of-age, twin lambs received a conventional (CONV) or an obesogenic, high-carbohydrate high-fat (HCHF) diet. Subgroups were slaughtered at 6-months-of-age. Remaining lambs were fed a low-fat diet until 2½ years-of-age (adulthood).

Methods

Serum hormone levels were determined at 6 months- and 2½ years-of-age. At 2½ years-of-age, feed intake capacity (intake over 4-h following 72-h fasting) was determined, and an intravenous thyroxine tolerance test (iTTT) was performed, including measurements of heart rate, rectal temperature and energy expenditure (EE).

Results

In the iTTT, the LOW and nutritionally mismatched NORM:HCHF and HIGH:CONV sheep increased serum T3, T3:T4 and T3:TSH less than NORM:CONV, whereas TSH was decreased less in HIGH, NORM:HCHF and LOW:HCHF. Early postnatal exposure to the HCHF diet decreased basal adult EE in NORM and HIGH, but not LOW, and increased adult feed intake capacity in NORM and LOW, but not HIGH.

Conclusions: The iTTT revealed a differential programming of central and peripheral HPT axis function in response to late fetal malnutrition and an early postnatal obesogenic diet, with long-term implications for adult HPT axis adaptability and associated consequences for adiposity risk.

Open access

Xiujuan Su, Yan Zhao, Zhijuan Cao, Yingying Yang, Tony Duan, and Jing Hua

Background

The effect of isolated maternal hypothyroxinaemia (IMH) on pregnancy complications and neonatal outcomes in human beings is still controversial.

Methods

This was a retrospective cohort study based on the electronic medical register system. The records of women with a singleton pregnancy who sought antenatal examination between January 2014 and December 2015 at Shanghai First Maternity and Infant Hospital were extracted from the electronic medical records system. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (fT4) and anti-thyroperoxidase autoantibody (TPO-Ab) was measured before 20 gestational weeks, and a multiple logistic regression model was used to estimate the odds ratios of pregnancy complications and neonatal outcomes between euthyroid women and those with isolated hypothyroxinaemia.

Results

A total of 8173 women were included in this study, of whom 342 (4.18%) were diagnosed with IMH. Regression analysis showed that IMH diagnosed in the second trimester (13–20 weeks) was associated with an increased risk of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (OR = 2.66, 95% CI: 1.38–5.10) and placenta abruption (OR = 3.64, 95% CI: 1.07–12.41), but not with preterm delivery (OR = 1.09, 95% CI: 0.50–2.40), small or large gestational age of infant (OR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.39–2.12; OR = 1.16, 95% CI: 0.72–1.86), macrosomia (OR = 1.71, 95% CI: 0.95–3.07), gestational diabetes mellitus (OR = 1.36, 95% CI: 0.86–2.15) and placenta previa (OR = 1.62, 95% CI: 0.39–7.37).

Conclusion

IMH could be a risk factor for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.