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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

Helle Døssing, Finn Noe Bennedbæk and Laszlo Hegedüs

Objective

Laser therapy (LT) is considered a safe and effective procedure for inducing thyroid nodule necrosis, fibrosis and shrinkage. Little is known about long-term efficacy of LT in benign complex thyroid nodules, which we report here.

Design and methods

One hundred and ten euthyroid outpatients (28 men and 82 women; median age 48 years (range 17–82)) with a recurrent cytologically benign cystic (≥2 mL cyst volume) thyroid nodule causing local discomfort were assigned to LT. LT was performed after complete cyst aspiration and under continuous ultrasound (US) guidance. Nineteen patients (17 within 6 months) had surgery after LT. The median follow-up for the remaining 91 patients was 45 months (range: 12–134).

Results

The overall median nodule volume in the 110 patients decreased from 9.0 mL (range: 2.0–158.0) to 1.2 mL (range: 0.0–85.0) (P < 0.001) at the final evaluation, corresponding to a median reduction of 85% (range: −49 to 100%). Remission of the cystic part (volume ≤1 mL) was obtained in 82 of 110 (75%) patients after LT. The median cyst volume decreased from 6.3 mL (range: 2.0–158.0) to 0.0 mL (range: 0.0–85.0) (P < 000.1), corresponding to a median reduction of 100% (range: −49 to 100%). These results correlated with a significant decrease in pressure as well as cosmetic complaints. Side effects were restricted to mild local pain.

Conclusion

US-guided aspiration and subsequent LT of benign recurrent cystic thyroid nodules results in a satisfactory long-term clinical response in the majority of patients. LT constitutes a clinically relevant alternative to surgery in such patients.