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Open access

Yongping Liu, Shuo Wang, Qingling Guo, Yongze Li, Jing Qin, Na Zhao, Yushu Li, Zhongyan Shan, and Weiping Teng

Objective

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) is characterized by elevated specific auto-antibodies, including TgAb and TPOAb. Increasing evidence has demonstrated the essential role of Th17 cells in HT. However, the underlying mechanism is still unclear. Semaphorin 5A (Sema 5A) is involved in several autoimmune diseases through the regulation of immune cells. The aim of the present study was to explore the role of Sema 5A in HT.

Methods

We measured serum Sema 5A levels in HT (n = 92) and healthy controls (n = 111) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RNA levels of Sema 5A and their receptors (plexin-A1 and plexin-B3), as well as several cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-17), were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 23 patients with HT and 31 controls. In addition, we investigated the relationship between serum Sema 5A and HT.

Results

Serum Sema 5A in HT increased significantly compared with healthy controls (P < 0.001). Moreover, serum Sema 5A levels were positively correlated with TgAb (r = 0.511, P < 0.001), TPOAb (r = 0.423, P < 0.001), TSH (r = 0.349, P < 0.001) and IL-17 mRNA expression (r = 0.442, P < 0.001). Increased Sema 5A RNA expression was observed (P = 0.041) in HT compared with controls. In receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, serum Sema 5A predicted HT with a sensitivity of 79.35% and specificity of 96.40%, and the area under the curve of the ROC curve was 0.836 (95% CI: 0.778–0.884, P < 0.001).

Conclusions

These data demonstrated elevated serum Sema 5A in HT patients for the first time. Serum Sema 5A levels were correlated with thyroid auto-antibodies and IL-17 mRNA expression. Sema 5A may be involved in immune response of HT patients.

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

Zhenzhen Wang, Xiangying Zhu, Xiaohui Yu, Haixia Guan, Lei Zhao, Yixia Zhang, Yuge Li, Liang Sang, Yuchen Han, Yushu Li, Zhongyan Shan, and Weiping Teng

Purpose:

To determine the diagnostic efficiency of the ATA classification and ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (FNA) results in identifying the risk factors of malignancy, we analyzed the thyroid nodules of patients who underwent thyroidectomy and compared preoperative ATA classifications with FNA results.

Methods:

We retrospectively analyzed 274 nodules of 196 patients who underwent ultrasonography, FNA and thyroidectomy. Histopathological findings of thyroid nodules were considered as the Au standard in the analysis of the diagnostic efficiency of the ATA classification and FNA results. Univariate analysis and binary multivariate logistic regression analysis were applied to identify the ultrasound features associated with malignancy.

Results:

The overall malignancy rate of 274 nodules was 41.6%. The areas under the ROC curves (AUCs) for the ATA classification and FNA results were 0.88 and 0.878, respectively (P < 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of the ATA classification were 86 and 86.9%, whereas those of FNA results were 68.5 and 91.4%, respectively. The specificity (98.7%) and sensitivity (94.3%) increased after the combined use of the ATA classification and FNA results. Taller-than-wide shape, microcalcifications, hypoechogenicity and irregular margins were independent risk factors for malignancy. Microcalcifications had the highest OR (7.58), and taller-than-wide shape had the highest specificity in BSRTC I, II, III and IV cytology.

Conclusion:

The diagnostic efficiency of the ATA classification and FNA results in identifying malignant nodules was high, and the use of both criteria improved the diagnostic accuracy. Taller-than-wide shape, microcalcifications, hypoechogenicity and irregular margins were independent risk factors for malignancy.