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 15 Issue 8

August is Thyroid and Pregnancy Awareness Month

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Clinical Thyroidology for the Public Volume 15 Issue 8 (PDF file, 2.66 MB)



Mild abnormalities in thyroid hormone levels in one blood test in early pregnancy may become normal when repeated.

Thyroid hormone levels in pregnant women change during pregnancy. Most of the time, these changes are short-lived and resolve without therapy, but some do need to be treated. This study investigated how often the diagnosis of thyroid problems remains the same when thyroid hormone levels in pregnant women were checked more than once during early pregnancy.
Knøsgaard L et al 2022 Classification of maternal thyroid function in early pregnancy using repeated blood samples. Eur Thyroid J 11(2):e210055. PMID: 34981754.

Eye surgery for thyroid eye disease and quality of life

Symptoms of thyroid eye disease can be severe and affect quality of life in many ways. Treatment options are limited and surgery may be needed. This study was done by reviewing and analyzing existing studies to help assess whether the different types of eye surgery improved the quality of life in patients with thyroid eye disease.
Woo T et al P 2022 The effect of ophthalmic surgery for Graves’ orbitopathy on quality of life: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Thyroid 32:177–187. PMID: 34877883.

Rituximab may increase remission in young patients with Graves’ disease.

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition causing hyperthyroidism and antithyroid drugs may affect the autoimmune process and cause it to go into remission. Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody that has been shown to be effective in treating other autoimmune diseases. In the current study, disease remission and treatment safety were evaluated in young patients with Graves’ disease when Rituximab was administered together with antithyroid drugs.
Cheetham TD et al 2022 Adjuvant rituximab—Exploratory trial in young people with Graves disease. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 107:743–754. PMID: 34687316.

Pre-existing thyroid autoimmunity is associated with increased thyroid cancer risk

Autoimmune disease is a major cause of thyroid problems in the US. Previous studies have suggested an association between autoimmune thyroid disease and thyroid cancer. The aim of this study is to determine whether there is an association of thyroid cancer with autoimmune thyroid disease.
McLeod DSA et al 2022. Pre-existing thyroid autoimmunity and risk of papillary thyroid cancer: A nested case-control study of US active-duty personnel. J Clin Oncol. Epub 2022 Apr 13. PMID: 35417260.

Lack of an impact of education and income on the increase of thyroid cancer in Denmark

Similar to the United States, thyroid cancer has been increasing in other parts of the world. Indeed, the occurrence of new cases of thyroid cancer in Denmark has increased considerably from 1980 to 2014. The goal of the study was specifically to evaluate how the level of education and income of adults in Denmark was associated with the increase in thyroid cancer.
Sørensen SM et al 2022 Temporal trends in papillary and follicular thyroid cancer incidence from 1995 to 2019 in adults in Denmark according to education and income. Thyroid. Epub 2022 Apr 22. PMID: 35459415.