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Open access

Aasem Saif, Shrook Mousa, Maha Assem, Nashwa Tharwat, and Alaa Abdelhamid

Hypothyroidism is associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis. We assessed carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), as a marker of atherosclerosis, and endothelial function in patients with hypothyroidism. We included 70 female patients with hypothyroidism in the study, 40 patients with overt and 30 patients with subclinical hypothyroidism. Forty, age- and sex-matched, subjects with normal thyroid functions were also included as a control group. CIMT was measured using high-resolution color-coded Doppler ultrasonography. Endothelial function was assessed by measuring the percent of change in blood flow following heat-mediated vasodilation using laser Doppler flowmetry. CIMT was significantly higher in patients with overt and subclinical hypothyroidism as compared with the control group (0.7 ± 0.2 and 0.6 ± 0.2 mm respectively vs 0.45 ± 0.07 mm, P < 0.001 for both). The percent of change in blood flow following heat-mediated vasodilation was significantly impaired in patients with overt and subclinical hypothyroidism as compared with the control group (328 ± 17 and 545 ± 406% respectively vs 898 ± 195%, P < 0.001 for both). The impairment was more significant in overt as compared with subclinical hypothyroidism (P = 0.014). CIMT negatively correlated with percent of change in blood flow following heat-mediated vasodilation in patients with overt and subclinical hypothyroidism (P < 0.001 for both). We concluded that CIMT is significantly higher in patients with overt and subclinical hypothyroidism compared with normal control subjects. Impairment of endothelial function is a contributing factor to the increased risk of atherosclerosis in both groups of patients.

Open access

Akinori Sairaku, Yukiko Nakano, Yuko Uchimura, Takehito Tokuyama, Hiroshi Kawazoe, Yoshikazu Watanabe, Hiroya Matsumura, and Yasuki Kihara

Background

The impact of subclinical hypothyroidism on the cardiovascular risk is still debated. We aimed to measure the relationship between subclinical hypothyroidism and the left atrial (LA) pressure.

Methods

The LA pressures and thyroid function were measured in consecutive patients undergoing atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation, who did not have any known heart failure, structural heart disease, or overt thyroid disease.

Results

Subclinical hypothyroidism (4.5≤ thyroid-stimulating hormone <19.9 mIU/L) was present in 61 (13.0%) of the 471 patients included. More subclinical hypothyroidism patients than euthyroid patients (55.7% vs 40.2%; P=0.04).’euthyroid patients had persistent or long-standing persistent AF (55.7% vs 40.2%; P = 0.04). The mean LA pressure (10.9 ± 4.7 vs 9.1 ± 4.3 mmHg; P = 0.002) and LA V-wave pressure (17.4 ± 6.5 vs 14.3 ± 5.9 mmHg; P < 0.001) were, respectively, higher in the patients with subclinical hypothyroidism than in the euthyroid patients. After an adjustment for potential confounders, the LA pressures remained significantly higher in the subclinical hypothyroidism patients. A multiple logistic regression model showed that subclinical hypothyroidism was independently associated with a mean LA pressure of >18 mmHg (odds ratio 3.94, 95% CI 1.28 11.2; P = 0.02).

Conclusions

Subclinical hypothyroidism may increase the LA pressure in AF patients.

Open access

Bilal B Mughal, Jean-Baptiste Fini, and Barbara A Demeneix

This review covers recent findings on the main categories of thyroid hormone–disrupting chemicals and their effects on brain development. We draw mostly on epidemiological and experimental data published in the last decade. For each chemical class considered, we deal with not only the thyroid hormone–disrupting effects but also briefly mention the main mechanisms by which the same chemicals could modify estrogen and/or androgen signalling, thereby exacerbating adverse effects on endocrine-dependent developmental programmes. Further, we emphasize recent data showing how maternal thyroid hormone signalling during early pregnancy affects not only offspring IQ, but also neurodevelopmental disease risk. These recent findings add to established knowledge on the crucial importance of iodine and thyroid hormone for optimal brain development. We propose that prenatal exposure to mixtures of thyroid hormone–disrupting chemicals provides a plausible biological mechanism contributing to current increases in the incidence of neurodevelopmental disease and IQ loss.

Open access

Nella Augusta Greggio, Elisa Rossi, Silvia Calabria, Alice Meneghin, Joaquin Gutierrez de Rubalcava, Carlo Piccinni, and Antonella Pedrini

Objective

To estimate the prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) among children, by using levothyroxine low dosage as disease proxy, and to describe prescription pattern.

Design

An historical cohort study was performed through administrative databases of 12 Italian Local Health Units covering 3,079,141 inhabitants. A cohort of children (aged 0–13 years) was selected in the period 2001–2014. A subgroup of new users (aged 0–9 years) was identified and followed up for 5 years.

Methods

The prevalence was provided as mean value of the whole period, as annual trend, by patient gender and age. Demographic details, information on levothyroxine dosage, comorbidities and co-medications were provided. Therapy duration and medication persistence were evaluated among new users.

Results

644 children treated with levothyroxine low dosage was selected, with a mean annual prevalence of 0.20 per 1000 children. The temporal trend of prevalence was stable, with a slight reduction in the 2005–2008. Prevalence by age showed an increase after 10 years. Patients were treated with an average annual dose of 4290 µg/year and 66.9% of children were affected by comorbidities. Among 197 new users, 62.9% received therapy only for one year, whereas out of those treated two or more years, 89.0% resulted persistent to the therapy.

Conclusions

This study provides real-world epidemiology of SH among children, and it depicts the clinical and therapeutic characteristics of these subjects. Its findings showed that the SH treatment of this disorder was widely variable, also due to lack of evidence concerning paediatric population.

Open access

Suvanjaa Sivalingam, Marianne Thvilum, Thomas Heiberg Brix, Laszlo Hegedüs, and Frans Brandt

Background

Season of birth, an exogenous indicator of early life environment, has been linked with a higher risk of adverse health outcomes such as autoimmune thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia later in life. Whether the development and cause of hyperthyroidism is influenced by season of birth is unclarified. We aimed, at a nationwide level, to investigate whether season of birth influences the risk of hyperthyroidism due to Graves’ disease (GD) and/or toxic nodular goitre (TNG).

Method

Register-based nationwide cohort study. By record-linkage between Danish health registers, 36,087 and 20,537 patients with GD and TNG, respectively, were identified. Each case was matched with four controls without thyroid disease, according to age and sex. Differences in month of birth across the year were evaluated by the Walter–Elwood test. Hazard ratios, for the risk of GD and TNG in individuals born in a certain month or season of the year, were calculated using Cox regression models.

Results

Neither for GD nor for TNG could we demonstrate a significant difference in birth rate across months or seasons of the year (Walter–Elwood’s test; X2 = 5.92 and X2 = 1.27, P = 0.052 and P = 0.53, respectively).

Conclusion

Irrespective of its cause, our findings do not support the hypothesis that season of birth is significantly related to the development of hyperthyroidism.

Open access

Navid Tabriz, Kilian Gloy, Astrid Schantzen, Dennis Fried, Dirk Weyhe, and Verena Uslar

Objectives

Validation of a German version of the ThyPRO-39 questionnaire for quality of life (QoL) in patients with benign thyroid diseases.

Design

Internal consistency, retest reliability, and validity were to be assessed in a test-retest study.

Methods

The ThyPRO-39 was translated based on standard methodology. A sample of 98 patients with benign thyroid diseases was tested with the ThyPRO-39de and the generic EuroQol 5D-5L. Forty-four patients with stable symptoms after 2 weeks formed the repeated measures sample. Cronbach’s alpha was calculated for the ThyPRO-39de composite score and for each disease-specific scale. Intraclass correlations between the original and the repeated measures sample were calculated for each scale as well as Pearson correlations between various ThyPRO scales and the EuroQol. T-tests were used to test for differences in the goiter and hyperthyroid symptom scales between relevant patient groups and other patients.

Results

Internal consistency was between satisfactory and good, except for two scales (tiredness and cosmetic complaints/appearance). The test-retest correlation was between 0.62 and 0.8 for most scales, but below 0.5 for two scales (tiredness and impaired social life). There were significant correlations between the EuroQol index score and most aspects of the ThyPRO-39de. Only the hyperthyroid symptoms scale was specific for the relevant patient group (Graves’ disease).

Conclusion

The ThyPRO-39de may be recommended for use in clinical and research settings, especially with regards to the composite score. However, the underlying thyroid disease should always be kept in mind when interpreting the test results. A larger sample would be needed to implement further improvements.

Open access

Agnieszka Adamska, Paulina Tomczuk-Bobik, Anna Beata Popławska-Kita, Katarzyna Siewko, Angelika Buczyńska, Piotr Szumowski, Łukasz Żukowski, Janusz Myśliwiec, Monika Zbucka-Krętowska, Marcin Adamski, and Adam Jacek Krętowski

Treatment with radioactive iodine (RAI) in women with differentiated thyroid cancer is associated with decreased serum concentrations of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH); however, other markers have not been investigated. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of RAI treatment on antral follicle count (AFC) and the serum concentration of inhibin B, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and AMH in women with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) treated with RAI. We examined 25 women at a median age of 33 years treated with a single dose of RAI. We divided the participants into women over (n = 11) and under 35 years of age (n = 14). Serum concentrations of inhibin B, FSH, AMH, and AFC were assessed at baseline and 1 year after RAI treatment. We found decreased AFC (P = 0.03), serum levels of AMH (P < 0.01), inhibin B (P = 0.03), but not FSH (P = 0.23), 1 year after RAI treatment in comparison to baseline in the whole group. When we compared serum levels of AMH in younger vs older women separately, we observed a significant reduction of this hormone’s serum level after RAI treatment in both groups (P < 0.01; P = 0.04, respectively). We concluded that RAI treatment significantly impacts the functional ovarian reserve in premenopausal women with PTC.

Open access

Klaudia Zajkowska, Janusz Kopczyński, Stanisław Góźdź, and Aldona Kowalska

Noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP) is a borderline thyroid tumour formerly known as noninvasive encapsulated follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma. The prevalence of NIFTP is estimated at 4.4–9.1% of all papillary thyroid carcinomas worldwide; however, the rate of occurrence of NIFTP is eight times lower in Asian countries than in Western Europe and America. At the molecular level, NIFTP is characterised by the lack of BRAF V600E and BRAF V600E-like mutations or other high-risk mutations (TERT, TP53) and a high rate of RAS mutations, which is similar to other follicular-pattern thyroid tumours. The diagnosis of NIFTP can only be made after histological examination of the entire tumour removed during surgery and is based on strictly defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Although the diagnosis is postoperative, the combination of certain findings of preoperative tests including ultrasonography, cytology, and molecular testing may raise suspicion of NIFTP. These tumours can be effectively treated by lobectomy, although total thyroidectomy remains an option for some patients. Radioactive iodine and thyroid stimulating hormone suppression therapy are not required. NIFTP has an extremely good prognosis, even when treated conservatively with lobectomy alone. Nevertheless, it cannot be considered as a benign lesion. The risk of adverse outcomes, including lymph node and distant metastases, is low but not negligible.

Open access

Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska, John Costello Jr, Kirk Jensen, Aneeta Patel, Rok Tkavc, Douglas Van Nostrand, Kenneth D Burman, Leonard Wartofsky, and Vasyl Vasko

Background

Amifostine is a potent scavenger of reactive oxygen species that is used for the salivary gland protection during therapy with radioactive iodine for thyroid cancer. There are no data on the potential effect of amifostine on thyroid cancer cells.

Methods

We investigated the effects of the active form of amifostine (WR-1065) on the response of thyroid cancer cells to treatment with DNA-damaging agents. WR-1065 was examined in human thyroid cancer cell lines (FTC133, TPC1, BCPAP and C643) and embryonic fibroblast cells NIH3T3. DNA damage was induced by exposure to H2O2 (0.1 mM), by treatment with the radiomimetic neocarzinostatin (NCS 250 ng/mL) and by γ-radiation (6 Gy). DNA damage, cell viability and apoptosis were examined.

Results

We demonstrated the selective action of WR-1065 (0.1 mM), which prevented oxidative stress–induced DNA damage in fibroblasts, but did not protect thyroid cancer cells from DNA damage and apoptosis documented by caspase-3 and PARP cleavage after exposure to H2O2, NCS and γ-radiation. Prolonged exposure to WR-1065 (0.1 mM for 24 h) was toxic for thyroid cancer cells; this treatment decreased the number of viable cells by 8% in C643 cells, 47% in TPC cells, 92% in BCPAP cells and 82% in FTC 133 cells. The cytotoxic effects of WR-1065 were not associated with induction of apoptosis.

Conclusions

Our data show that amifostine has no protective effect on thyroid cancer cells against DNA-damaging agents in vitro and suggest that amifostine will not attenuate the efficacy of radioiodine treatment in patients with thyroid cancer.

Open access

Keiko Ohkuwa, Kiminori Sugino, Mitsuji Nagahama, Wataru Kitagawa, Kenichi Matsuzu, Akifumi Suzuki, Chisato Tomoda, Kiyomi Hames, Junko Akaishi, Chie Masaki, and Koichi Ito

Objective

Radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy is effective for differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) patients with lung metastasis. However, some patients have a poor prognosis despite the RAI accumulation. The utility of inflammatory biomarkers, including neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), has been reported as a prognostic factor for many carcinomas. This study aimed to investigate the risk factors related to DTC patient survival with RAI-avid lung metastasis and to attempt risk stratification.

Design and methods

This retrospective study included 123 patients with RAI-accumulating lung metastatic DTC. The cause-specific survival (CSS) rate from the time of detection of lung metastasis was tested using the Kaplan–Meier log-rank test, and the multivariate analysis was calculated using the Cox proportional hazards model. NLR was retrospectively calculated using the blood sample collected before initial RAI treatment. The NLR cutoff value was 2.6 on the ROC curve.

Results

Age ≥ 55 years at the time of operative treatment, follicular carcinoma, lung metastasis tumor ≥ 10 mm in diameter, age ≥ 55 years at the time of detection of lung metastasis, age ≥ 55 years at the time of RAI treatment, and NLR ≥ 2.6 at the initial RAI treatment were predictive of decreased CSS. Multivariate analysis identified that the independent prognostic factors were lung metastatic tumor ≥ 10 mm in diameter and NLR ≥ 2.6. Patients in the high-risk group with both factors had significantly lower CSS rates than those in the low- and intermediate-risk groups with one or none of these factors.

Conclusions

The high-risk group patients had significantly poorer survival, and these patients could be considered as future candidates for tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy.