Clinical Thyroidology for the Public summarizes selected research studies discussed in the previous month’s issue of Clinical Thyroidology, an official publication of the American Thyroid Association. Editor-in-chief, Alan Farwell, MD, FACE

Volume 16 Issue 4

April is Hashimoto's ThyroiditisAwareness Month

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Clinical Thyroidology for the Public Volume 16 Issue 4 (PDF file, 2.55 MB)



Neonatal screening for hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism in newborns is seen in 1:5600 live births, although severe cases requiring treatment is much less common and is seen in 1:12,174 live births. Around 25% of severe neonatal hyperthyroidism leads to increased early death from congestive heart failure and premature birth. This study examines samples from the neonatal TSH screening program in France to determine a threshold to identify babies with neonatal hyperthyroidism.
Banigé M et al 2022 Neonatal screening for hyperthyroidism proof of concept. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 107(4):e1374– e1381. PMID: 34894265.

Is thyroid autoimmunity still a risk factor in women undergoing fertility treatment?

Thyroid autoimmunity has for many years been considered associated with a poor outcome in women undergoing fertility treatment. Recent studies now question this association in women who have normal thyroid function. This study investigated the association of thyroid autoimmunity with fertility treatment and live birth rates in a group of infertile women with normal thyroid function and positive thyroid antibodies.
Rao M et al 2022 Thyroid autoimmunity is not associated with embryo quality or pregnancy outcomes in euthyroid women undergoing assisted reproductive technology in China. Thyroid. Epub 2022 Dec 26. PMID: 36571280.

Total thyroidectomy improves quality of life in children and adolescents with Graves’ disease

Pediatric Graves’ disease is rare, but it is associated with hyperthyroid symptoms that may significantly affect psychosocial and physical functioning. As is the case in adults, thyroid surgery is an effective treatment option in children and adolescents, although less utilized than antithyroid drugs and radioactive iodine therapy. The goal of this study was to describe the impacts on quality of life of total thyroidectomy in children with Graves’ disease.
Halada S et al 2022 Impact of definitive surgery for Graves’ disease on adolescent disease-specific quality of life and psychosocial functioning. Thyroid. Epub 2022 Oct 17.

The relationship between surgeon volume and outcomes of parathyroid surgery

High calcium levels from primary hyperparathyroidism and can lead to health problems such as thinning of the bones and kidney stones. The main treatment for hyperparathyroidism is surgery to remove the overactive gland, called a parathyroidectomy. The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between surgeon volume and patient outcome for parathyroid surgery.
Gray WK et al 2022 Volume-outcome associations for parathyroid surgery in England: Analysis of an administrative data set for the Getting It Right First Time program. JAMA Surg. 2022;157(7):581-588. PMID: 35507350.

How many thyroid cancer patients on levothyroxine are meeting their treatment goals?

The goal of thyroid hormone therapy in thyroid cancer is to keep the TSH within a certain range to prevent any stimulation of growth of any remaining thyroid tissue by increased levels of TSH. The current American Thyroid Association provides treatment ranges/goals for TSH levels based on risk of the cancer returning. This study was done to evaluate whether patients with thyroid cancer who have undergone surgery for this disease and are now being treated with levothyroxine are meeting their goal TSH level as per current clinical guidelines.
Yavuz DG et al et al. 2022 Assessment of attainment of recommended TSH levels and levothyroxine compliance in differentiated thyroid cancer patients. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). Epub 2022 May 31. PMID: 35639050.

Molecular tests improve the detection of medullary thyroid cancer for patients with thyroid nodules

Diagnosing medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) on thyroid biopsies is challenging; more than 50% of MTCs are missed. Failure to identify MTC in a thyroid nodule prior to surgery can result in insufficient initial thyroid surgery with a lower chance of cure and the need for re-operations. The aim of this study is to report the development of and evaluate the performance of a commercially available MTC classifier.
Randolph GW et al 2022 Preoperative identification of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC): Clinical validation of the Afirma MTC RNA-sequencing classifier. Thyroid 32:1069–1076. PMID: 35793115.