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 8

August is Thyroid and PregnancyAwareness Month

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Clinical Thyroidology for the Public Volume 16 Issue 8 (PDF file, 3.49 MB)



What are potential impacts of thyroid cancer treatment on fertility in young women?

Rates of thyroid cancer has increased in recent years, especially in young woman. As such, people have been interested to know potential impact of thyroid cancer treatment on fertility. This study aimed to assess potential impact of thyroid cancer treatment on fertility and pregnancy rate in women in Israel.
Hirsch D et al. 2023 Infertility and pregnancy rates in female thyroid cancer survivors: A retrospective cohort study using health care administrative data from Israel. Thyroid 33:456–463. PMID: 36785948.

Hypothyroidism: an underestimated issue

Population-based studies from more than two decades ago estimated that about 5% of the United States population was affected by overt hypothyroidism where the TSH level is high and the FT4 level is low. When adding subclinical, or mild hypothyroidism, where the TSH level is high but the FT4 level is normal, the percent rises to 10-20%. This study primarily aimed to provide an update as to if there has been any change to the prevalence of hypothyroidism.
Wyne KL et al 2022 Hypothyroidism prevalence in the United States: A retrospective study combining National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and claims data, 2009-2019. J Endocr Soc 7(1):bvac172. PMID: 36466005.

Use of levothyroxine absorption tests

The dose of levothyroxine needed to return the low levels seen in hypothyroidism back to normal can be variable and affected by a number of factors. To evaluate whether there are problems absorbing levothyroxine in patients with hypothyroidism, several absorption tests have been developed and published. This study examine the use of these levothyroxine absorption tests in patients with hypothyroidism.
Caron P and Declèves X 2023 The use of levothyroxine absorption tests in clinical practice. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Epub 2023 Mar 14. PMID: 36916146.

Does Vitamin D supplementation reduce relapse of Graves’ Disease?

Antithyroid drugs (ATDs) are often the first-line therapy for the treatment of Graves’ disease in the United States. Unfortunately, the risk of relapse (recurrence of hyperthyroidism) after withdrawing ATDs is as high as 30 to 70%. This study examined whether supplementation with vitamin D in patients with newly diagnosed Graves’ disease would decrease the relapse rate of the disease after stopping ATDs.
Grove-Laugesen D et al 2023 Effect of vitamin D supplementation on Graves’ disease: The DAGMAR trial. Thyroid. Epub 2023 May 23. PMID: 37218433.

Hypoparathyroidism after thyroid surgery

One potential complication of thyroid surgery is damage to the parathyroid glands, which are located next to the thyroid and control the body’s calcium levels. Treatment for hypoparathyroidism includes calcium and vitamin D supplements to manage this condition. This study aimed to assess the symptoms and quality of life of patients with hypoparathyroidism after undergoing thyroid surgery and to compare them with those with normal parathyroid function after surgery.
Hillary SL et al 2022 Quality of life in post-surgical hypoparathyroidism (PoSH) in thyroid and parathyroid surgery. World J Surg 46:3025–3033. PMID: 36184675.

Radioactive iodine therapy has no clear benefit on survival in patients with hürthle-cell thyroid cancer

Hürthle-cell cancer (HCC) is a rare type of thyroid cancer with more aggressive features and a poorer prognosis than follicular thyroid carcinomas. Because of this, usual therapy includes a total thyroidectomy and many also undergo radioactive iodine therapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether radioactive iodine therapy after total thyroidectomy improves prognosis and survival in patients with HCC.
Wang X et al 2022 Radioactive iodine therapy does not improve cancer-specific survival in Hürthle cell carcinoma of the thyroid. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 107:3144–3151. PMID: 35908290.