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Open access

Jaafar Jaafar, Eugenio Fernandez, Heba Alwan and Jacques Philippe

Background

Monoclonal antibodies blocking the programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) or its ligand (PD-L1) are a group of immune checkpoints inhibitors (ICIs) with proven antitumor efficacy. However, their use is complicated by immune-related adverse events (irAEs), including endocrine adverse events (eAEs).

Purpose

We review the incidence, time to onset and resolution rate of dysthyroidism induced by PD-1/PD-L1 Ab, and the clinical, biological and radiological findings. We aim to discuss the potential mechanisms of PD-1/PD-L1 Ab-induced dysthyroidism, and to propose a management algorithm.

Methods

We performed a literature search of available clinical trials regarding PD-1/PD-L1 Ab in the PubMed database. We selected all English language clinical trials that included at least 100 patients. We also present selected case series or reports, retrospective studies and reviews related to this issue.

Findings

In patients treated with PD-1 Ab, hypothyroidism occurred in 2–10.1% and hyperthyroidism occurred in 0.9–7.8%. When thyroiditis was reported separately, it occurred in 0.34–2.6%. Higher rates were reported when PD-1 Ab were associated with other ICI or chemotherapy. The median time to onset of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism after PD-1 Ab initiation was 23–45 days and 2–3.5 months, respectively. Regarding PD-L1 Ab, hypothyroidism occurred in 0–10% and hyperthyroidism in 0.5–2% of treated patients. The average time to onset of dysthyroidism after PD-L1 Ab was variable and ranged from 1 day after treatment initiation to 31 months.

Conclusion

Dysthyroidism occurs in up to 10% of patients treated with PD-1/PD-L1 Ab. Hypothyroidism and reversible destructive thyroiditis are the most frequent endocrine adverse events (eAE) in PD-1/PD-L1 treated patients. Immune and non-immune mechanisms are potentially involved, independently of the presence of thyroid antibodies.

Open access

J Brossaud, V Pallet and J-B Corcuff

Vitamin A (retinol) is a micronutrient critical for cell proliferation and differentiation. In adults, vitamin A and metabolites such as retinoic acid (RA) play major roles in vision, immune and brain functions and tissue remodelling and metabolism. This review presents the physiological interactions of retinoids and endocrine tissues and hormonal systems. Two endocrine systems have been particularly studied. In the pituitary, retinoids target the corticotrophs with a possible therapeutic use in corticotropinomas. In the thyroid, retinoids interfere with iodine metabolism and vitamin A deficiency aggravates thyroid dysfunction caused by iodine-deficient diets. Retinoids use in thyroid cancer appears less promising than expected. Recent and still controversial studies investigated the relations between retinoids and metabolic syndrome. Indeed, retinoids contribute to pancreatic development and modify fat and glucose metabolism. However, more detailed studies are needed before planning any therapeutic use. Finally, retinoids probably play more minor roles in adrenal and gonads development and function apart from their major effects on spermatogenesis.

Open access

Eugenie S Lim, Shanty G Shah, Mona Waterhouse, Scott Akker, William Drake, Nick Plowman, Daniel M Berney, Polly Richards, Ashok Adams, Ewa Nowosinska, Carmel Brennan and Maralyn Druce

Context

Differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) is usually treated by thyroidectomy followed by radioiodine ablation and generally has a good prognosis. It may now be possible to limit the amount of treatment without impacting on efficacy. It is not known whether coexistent thyroiditis impacts on radioiodine uptake or on its potential efficacy, but this could provide a rationale for modification to current therapeutic protocols.

Design

This was a retrospective cohort study of radioiodine uptake on imaging after radioiodine ablation for DTC in patients with and without concurrent thyroiditis. All patients with histologically confirmed DTC treated with radioiodine ablation after thyroidectomy in a single centre from 2012 to 2015 were included. The primary outcome assessed was the presence of low or no iodine uptake on post-ablation scan, as reported by a nuclear medicine physician blinded to the presence or absence of thyroiditis.

Results

One hundred thirty patients with available histopathology results were included. Thyroiditis was identified in 42 post-operative specimens and 15 of these patients had low or no iodine uptake on post-ablation scan, compared to only 2 of 88 patients without thyroiditis (P < 0.0001) with further data analysis dividing the groups by ablation activity received (1100 MBq or 3000 MBq).

Conclusions

Concurrent thyroiditis may impair the uptake of radioactive iodine in management of DTC. Given that patients with DTC and thyroiditis already have a good prognosis, adopting a more selective approach to this step in therapy may be indicated. Large, longitudinal studies would be required to determine if omitting radioactive iodine therapy from those patients with concurrent thyroiditis has a measurable impact on mortality from thyroid cancer.

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

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

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

Guoquan Zhu, Yuying Deng, Liqin Pan, Wei Ouyang, Huijuan Feng, Juqing Wu, Pan Chen, Jing Wang, Yanying Chen and Jiaxin Luo

The goal of this study was to explore the relationship of the BRAFV600E mutation with clinicopathologic factors and evaluate the effect of radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy in a large group of intermediate- and high-risk papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) patients with the BRAFV600E mutation and without distant metastases. We collected data for PTC patients who underwent total or near-total thyroidectomy and RAI treatment in our hospital from January 2014–December 2017. There were 1220 PTC patients who met the criteria, and the BRAFV600E mutation was observed in 979 of them (80.2%). Multivariate analysis identified that the BRAFV600E mutation remained independently associated with age at diagnosis, and bilaterality (OR = 1.023, 95% CI = 1.012–1.039, P < 0.001; OR = 1.685, 95% CI = 1.213–2.341, P = 0.002, respectively). In addition, the patients with bilateral PTCs had a higher prevalence of extrathyroid invasion, capsular invasion and fusion of metastatic lymph nodes than the unilateral PTC patients. The response to RAI therapy was evaluated in both the entire series and the patients with a high recurrence risk; no significant difference was discerned between the BRAFV600E mutation and the wild-type groups (P = 0.237 and P = 0.498, respectively). To summarize, our results confirmed that PTC patients with the BRAFV600E mutation exhibit more aggressive characteristics. In addition, the patients with bilateral PTC have a higher incidence of extrathyroid invasion. Moreover, BRAFV600E mutation PTC patients did not show a poorer clinical response after postsurgical RAI therapy, suggesting that RAI therapy may improve the general clinical outcome of these patients.

Open access

M L Gild, M Bullock, C K Pon, B G Robinson and R J Clifton-Bligh

Metastatic differentiated thyroid cancers (DTC) are resistant to traditional chemotherapy. Kinase inhibitors have shown promise in patients with progressive DTC, but dose-limiting toxicity is commonplace. HSP90 regulates protein degradation of several growth-mediating kinases such as RET, and we hypothesized that HSP90 inhibitor (AUY922) could inhibit RET-mediated medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) as well as papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) cell growth and also radioactive iodine uptake by PTC cells. Studies utilized MTC cell lines TT (C634W) and MZ-CRC-1 (M918T) and the PTC cell line TPC-1 (RET/PTC1). Cell viability was assessed with MTS assays and apoptosis by flow cytometry. Signaling target expression was determined by western blot and radioiodine uptake measured with a gamma counter. Prolonged treatment of both MTC cell lines with AUY922 simultaneously inhibited both MAPK and mTOR pathways and significantly induced apoptosis (58.7 and 78.7% reduction in MZ-CRC-1 and TT live cells respectively, following 1 μM AUY922; P<0.02). Similarly in the PTC cell line, growth and signaling targets were inhibited, and also a 2.84-fold increase in radioiodine uptake was observed following AUY922 administration (P=0.015). AUY922 demonstrates in vitro activity against MTC and PTC cell lines. We observed a potent dose-dependent increase in apoptosis in MTC cell lines following drug administration confirming its anti-tumorigenic effects. Western blots confirm inhibition of pro-survival proteins including AKT suggesting this as the mechanism of cell death. In a functional study, we observed an increase in radioiodine uptake in the PTC cell line following AUY922 treatment. We believe HSP90 inhibition could be a viable alternative for treatment of RET-driven chemo-resistant thyroid cancers.