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Open access

Yuerong Yan, Lili You, Xiaoyi Wang, Zhuo Zhang, Feng Li, Hongshi Wu, Muchao Wu, Jin Zhang, Jiayun Wu, Caixia Chen, Xiaohui Li, Biwen Xia, Mingtong Xu, and Li Yan

Objectives

A variety of factors differed between rural and urban areas may further influence iodine status and thyroid structure. Hence, this study compared iodine nutrition, the prevalence of thyroid goiter, and nodules between rural and urban residents in Guangzhou, a southern coastal city of China.

Methods

A total of 1211 rural residents and 1305 urban residents were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. A questionnaire regarding personal characteristics was administered. Urinary iodine concentration (UIC) was examined. Ultrasonography of the thyroid was performed to evaluate thyroid goiter and nodules. Multiple logistic analysis was used to identify the potential associated factors.

Results

The median UIC was significantly lower in rural residents than in urban residents (120.80 μg/L vs 136.00 μg/L, P < 0.001). Although the coverage rate of iodized salt was much higher in rural residents than in urban residents (99.59% vs 97.29%, P < 0.001), the percentages of seafood intake (8.60% vs 29.29%, P < 0.001), iodine-containing drug consumption (0.33% vs 1.24%, P = 0.011), and iodine contrast medium injection (0.58% vs 1.87%, P = 0.004) were lower in rural residents than in urban residents. Both the prevalence of thyroid goiters and nodules was significantly higher in rural residents than in urban residents (goiter: 8.06% vs 1.20%, P < 0.001; nodules: 61.89% vs 55.04%, P = 0.023). Living in rural areas was associated with thyroid goiter (OR 5.114, 95% CI 2.893–9.040, P < 0.001).

Conclusions

There were differences in iodine nutrition and the prevalence of thyroid goiter and nodules in rural and urban residents in Guangzhou. Differentiated and specialized monitoring is recommended in our area.

Open access

Stine Linding Andersen and Stig Andersen

The management of hyperthyroidism in pregnant patients has been a topic of raised clinical awareness for decades. It is a strong recommendation that overt hyperthyroidism of Graves’ disease in pregnant women should be treated to prevent complications. The consequences of hyperthyroidism in pregnancy are less studied than hypothyroidism, and a literature review illustrates that the main burden of evidence to support current clinical guidance emerges from early observations of severe complications in Graves’ disease patients suffering from untreated hyperthyroidism in the pregnancy. On the other hand, the more long-term consequences in children born to mothers with hyperthyroidism are less clear. A hypothesis of fetal programming by maternal hyperthyroidism implies that excessive levels of maternal thyroid hormones impair fetal growth and development. Evidence from experimental studies provides clues on such mechanisms and report adverse developmental abnormalities in the fetal brain and other organs. Only few human studies addressed developmental outcomes in children born to mothers with hyperthyroidism and did not consistently support an association. In contrast, large observational human studies performed within the last decade substantiate a risk of teratogenic side effects to the use of antithyroid drugs in early pregnancy. Thus, scientific and clinical practice are challenged by the distinct role of the various exposures associated with Graves’ disease including the hyperthyroidism per se, the treatment, and thyroid autoimmunity. More basic and clinical studies are needed to extend knowledge on the effects of each exposure, on the potential interaction between exposures and with other determinants, and on the underlying mechanisms.

Open access

Yun Hu, Na Li, Peng Jiang, Liang Cheng, Bo Ding, Xiao-Mei Liu, Ke He, Yun-Qing Zhu, Bing-li Liu, Xin Cao, Hong Zhou, and Xiao-Ming Mao

Objective

Thyroid nodules are usually accompanied by elevated thyroglobulin (Tg) level and autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs). However, the relationship between Tg and AITDs is not fully understood. Dysfunction of regulatory T cells (Tregs) plays an important role in the development of AITDs. We aimed to evaluate the effects of Tg on the function of Tregs in patients with thyroid nodules.

Methods

Tg levels and the functions of Tregs in peripheral blood and thyroid tissues of patients with thyroid nodules from Nanjing First Hospital were evaluated. The effects of Tg on the function of Tregs from healthy donors were also assessed in vitro. The function of Tregs was defined as an inhibitory effect of Tregs on the effector T cell (CD4+ CD25 T cell) proliferation rate.

Results

The level of Tg in peripheral blood correlated negatively with the inhibitory function of Tregs (R = 0.398, P = 0.03), and Tregs function declined significantly in the high Tg group (Tg >77 μg/L) compared with the normal Tg group (11.4 ± 3.9% vs 27.5 ± 3.5%, P < 0.05). Compared with peripheral blood, the function of Tregs in thyroid declined significantly (P < 0.01), but the proportion of FOXP3+ Tregs in thyroid increased (P < 0.01). High concentration of Tg (100 μg/mL) inhibited the function of Tregs and downregulated FOXP3, TGF-β and IL-10 mRNA expression in Tregs in vitro.

Conclusions

Elevated Tg level could impair the function of Tregs, which might increase the risk of AITDs in patient with thyroid nodules.

Open access

Peter D Mark, Mikkel Andreassen, Claus L Petersen, Andreas Kjaer, and Jens Faber

Purpose

The aim of this study was to investigate structure and function of the heart in subclinical hyperthyroidism (SH) before and after obtaining euthyroidism by radioactive iodine treatment, using high precision and observer-independent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology.

Methods

Cardiac MRI was performed before and after euthyroidism was obtained by radioactive iodine treatment in 12 otherwise healthy patients (11 women and one man, mean age 59 years, range 44–71 years) with a nodular goiter and SH, and compared with eight healthy controls investigated at baseline. Cardiac data were expressed as an index, as per body surface area, except for heart rate (HR) and ejection fraction.

Results

Post-treatment cardiac MRI was performed in median 139 days after a normalized serum TSH value had been recorded. During treatment, serum TSH increased from (median (range)) 0.01 (0.01–0.09) to 0.88 (0.27–3.99) mU/l. Patients with untreated SH had increased resting HR (P<0.01) as well as cardiac index (cardiac output as per body surface area) (P<0.01) compared with controls. Obtaining euthyroidism resulted in a significant decrease in left ventricular mass index (LVMI) of 2.7 g/m2 (P=0.034), in HR of 8 bpm (P=0.001), and in cardiac index of 0.24 l/min per m2 (P=0.017).

Conclusions

Normalization of thyroid function by radioactive iodine treatment of SH resulted in significant reductions in clinically important heart parameters such as LVMI, HR, and cardiac index. SH should be regarded as a condition in which aggressive treatment should be considered to protect cardiac function.

Open access

Qingrong Pan, Shuxin Gao, Xia Gao, Ning Yang, Zhi Yao, Yanjin Hu, Li Miao, Zhe Chen, and Guang Wang

Objective

It has been found that both serum homocysteine (Hcy) and serum creatinine levels were increased in hypothyroidism patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between serum Hcy and kidney function in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism.

Methods

A total of 448 subjects were enrolled and divided into three groups: hypothyroidism (n = 129), subclinical hypothyroidism (n = 141), and control group (n = 168). Anthropometric information, metabolic parameters, serum Hcy and creatinine levels, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were analyzed.

Results

Compared with healthy subjects, patients with subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism had significantly higher serum Hcy and creatinine levels and lower eGFR level (all P < 0.001). Serum Hcy was negatively correlated with eGFR in subclinical hypothyroidism patients (r = −0.220, P = 0.009), and in hypothyroidism patients (r = −0.422, P < 0.001). After adjusting for age, sex and BMI, eGFR was still significantly correlated with serum Hcy in subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism patients (both P < 0.05). Levothyroxine treatment resulted in significantly decreased Hcy and increased eGFR in hypothyroidism patients (both P < 0.001). The decrease in Hcy was correlated with the increased eGFR after treatment (P = 0.001).

Conclusion

Serum Hcy was negatively correlated with eGFR in subclinical hypothyroidism or hypothyroidism patients. After levothyroxine treatment, a correlation was found between the decrease in serum Hcy and the increase in eGFR in hypothyroidism patients.

Open access

Jeonghoon Ha, Jeongmin Lee, Kwanhoon Jo, Dong-Jun Lim, Moo Il Kang, Bong Yun Cha, and Min-Hee Kim

Objective

To investigate the prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) in Korean adults and identify the risk factors for the occurrence of SCH by sex.

Design and methods

This study used data from the Sixth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES VI), a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey, which comprises a health interview survey, a health examination survey and a nutrition survey. To examine SCH, the reference range of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) was defined using both the range provided by the test kit manufacturer (SCH-M) and a population-based range (SCH-P). We investigated the prevalence of SCH and its risk factors by sex using both reference ranges.

Results

The prevalence of SCH in Koreans according to SCH-M (0.35–5.5 µIU/mL) was 5.6%, and 3.3% with SCH-P (0.62–6.68 µIU/mL). For men, smoking significantly reduced the incidence of SCH, positive anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) significantly increased the risk of SCH, and in an adjusted model, the risk of SCH in all quartiles increased as the urine iodine creatinine ratio (UICR) quartile increased. For women, positive TPOAb was confirmed as a risk factor for SCH, as was the highest UICR quartile. Furthermore, the odds ratio for SCH in urban vs rural residence was 1.78.

Conclusions

The prevalence rates of SCH were similar to those reported in the literature and previously known risk factors were confirmed using both TSH reference ranges. The notable findings from this study are that the increased risk of SCH with increased iodine intake was more marked in men than in women and that residential area may be a risk factor for SCH in women.

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

Jakob Kirkegård, Dora Körmendiné Farkas, Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen, and Deirdre P Cronin-Fenton

Objective

The association between thyroid dysfunction and gastrointestinal cancer is unclear.

Design

We conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study to examine this potential association.

Methods

We used Danish medical registries to assemble a nationwide population-based cohort of patients diagnosed with hyperthyroid or hypothyroid disease from 1978 to 2013. We computed standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) with corresponding 95% CIs as measures of the relative risk of each cancer, comparing patients with thyroid dysfunction with that expected in the general population.

Results

We included 163,972 patients, of which 92,783 had hyperthyroidism and 71,189 had hypothyroidism. In general, we found an increased risk of all gastrointestinal cancers within the first year after thyroid disease diagnosis. After more than 5 years of follow-up, patients with hyperthyroidism had a slightly increased risk of pancreatic and gallbladder and biliary tract cancer. Patients with hypothyroidism had a slightly increased risk of stomach, anal, liver, gallbladder and biliary tract, and pancreatic cancer after more than 5 years of follow-up, but the observed numbers of cancers were in general similar to the expected.

Conclusions

The increased risks of all gastrointestinal cancers in the first year following hyper- or hypothyroidism diagnosis are likely due to detection bias. After more than 5 years of follow-up, there does not seem to be a consistent causal association between thyroid disease and gastrointestinal cancer.

Open access

Xiaoya Zheng, Shanshan Yu, Jian Long, Qiang Wei, Liping Liu, Chun Liu, and Wei Ren

Objective: Both primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) and diffuse sclerosing variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (DSVPTC) are two rare malignant tumours with different therapies and prognoses. This study compared their clinical features.

Methods: From a retrospective review of the pathologic database at our institute between January 2015 and August 2020, 52 PTL patients and 40 DSVPTC patients were included. Demographic, clinical, laboratory and ultrasound data were extracted from electronic medical records. Statistical analyses were performed using GraphPad Prism 5.0.

Results: Both PTL and DSVPTC were more likely to occur in women (83.7% and 67.5%), but DSVPTC patients were younger (median age: 36 vs 64.5), had fewer compressive symptoms, and more frequently had neck lymph node metastasis than PTL patients. The prevalence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) and hypothyroidism was significantly higher in PTL patients than in DSVPTC patients (31% vs 17.5%). Hyperthyroidism could only be found in DSVPTC patients, which accounted for 7.5%. Heterogeneous echogenicity and irregular edges were frequently observed in both PTL and DSVPTC. However, compared with PTL, DSVPTC exhibited smaller lesion sizes, higher frequencies of diffuse sonographic patterns and calcification, and lower frequencies of hypoechoic features and internal blood flow signal. The overall survival rate with PTL was 77.23%, which was lower than that with DSVPTC (90.91%), but this difference was not significant (p=0.096).

Conclusion: Clinical characteristics such as age, compression symptoms, and sonographic features such as a large mass with heterogeneous echogenicity, hypoechoic, irregular edges, and calcification are helpful for impression diagnosis of PTL and DSVPTC before surgery.

Open access

Anna Olsson-Brown, Rosemary Lord, Joseph Sacco, Jonathan Wagg, Mark Coles, and Munir Pirmohamed

Introduction

Immune checkpoint inhibitors can lead to thyroid dysfunction. However, the understanding of the clinical phenotype of ICI-induced thyroid dysfunction in the real-world population is limited. The purpose of this study was to characterise the clinical patterns of dysfunction and evaluate the demographic, biochemical and immunological features associated with this patient cohort.

Materials and methods

To characterise the longitudinal clinical course of thyroid dysfunction in patients from a single, UK regional cancer centre, a retrospective review of patients was conducted. Inclusion criteria included all patients treated with antiPD-1 checkpoint inhibitors (ICI), either as monotherapy (pembrolizumab/nivolumab) or in combination with a CTLA-4 inhibitor (ipilimumab). Patterns of toxicity were evaluated together with assessment of antibody titres.

Results

Over 16 months, thyroid dysfunction was seen in 13/90 and 3/13 patients treated with anti-PD1 monotherapy and in combination with ipilimumab, respectively. Patients either developed hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism (12/16) or de novo hypothyroidism (4/16). Most patients were female (n = 11). All patients required thyroid replacement therapy. There was no relationship between clinical pattern of dysfunction and the presence of thyroid autoantibodies.

Conclusions

There are two distinct patterns of thyroid dysfunction in ICI-treated patients. Patients with thyroiditis develop subsequent hypothyroidism in the vast majority of cases. The potential benefit from steroids or other therapy to manage the hyperthyroid phase remains unclear. Early detection of these patients through appropriate monitoring will improve clinical management and early hormone replacement, reducing the symptomatic burden of hypothyroidism.