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 1

January is Thyroid Awareness Month

Available in pdf format for saving and printing and Web page format for viewing online

PDF Format for Saving and Printing
Clinical Thyroidology for the Public Volume 16 Issue 1 (PDF file, 2.39 MB)



COVID-19 vaccination may not increase the risk of thyroid problems

Since December 2020, 15 vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2 to prevent COVID-19 infection have been approved to reduce infection and related hospitalizations and deaths. The rapid progress and limited follow-up data have generated public concerns about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Recently, thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, and hypothyroidism following COVID-19 vaccination have been described in a few case studies. Nevertheless, the effects of COVID-19 vaccines on thyroid function remain poorly understood. The current study aimed to characterize the association of mRNA and inactivated COVID-19 vaccines with the risk of thyroid dysfunction in the general population.
Wong CKH et al 2022 Risk of thyroid dysfunction associated with mRNA and inactivated COVID-19 vaccines: A population-based study of 2.3 million vaccine recipients. BMC Med 20:339. PMID: 36229814.

Early-onset Graves’ disease after COVID-19 vaccination responds rapidly to low-dose methimazole

COVID-19 infection has been associated with the development of several endocrine problems including different forms of thyroiditis and Graves’ disease. There have been some case reports of the development of autoimmune thyroid problems following COVID-19 vaccination. This study examined the characterization of Graves’ disease occurring after COVID-19 vaccination.
di Filippo L et al 2022 Distinct clinical features of post- COVID-19 vaccination early-onset Graves’ disease (PoVEO GD). J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Epub 2022 Sep 21. PMID: 36130234.

Cancer risk following radioiodine treatment of hyperthyroidism

Conflicting data has been published in the literature regarding whether radioactive iodine therapy for hyperthyroidism is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer. This study sought to determine the cancer risk following treatment with radioactive iodine therapy for hyperthyroidism. Specifically, the authors examined the risk of cancer development and death after radioactive iodine therapy exposure.
Shim SR et al 2021 Cancer risk after radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Netw Open 4:e2125072. PMID: 34533571.

Age less than 18 is not a reliable cutoff age for the pediatric classification of thyroid cancer

The management of thyroid cancer is different for children as compared to adults. For the purposes of thyroid cancer recommendations, the definition of the pediatric population is any child 18 years or younger. The authors of this study wanted to find out if 18 years is the appropriate cut off age for the pediatric guidelines.
Sugino K et al 2022. Cutoff age between pediatric and adult thyroid differentiated cancer: Is 18 years old appropriate? Thyroid 32:145–152. PMID: 34549602

Does nerve monitoring help prevent nerve injury during thyroid surgery?

Nerve monitoring allows a surgeon to verify (monitor) that the recurrent laryngeal nerves are working throughout the operation. This information may help a surgeon avoid accidentally injuring one, or both, of these nerves. The research described here aims to determine if using nerve monitoring decreases the risk of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury during thyroid surgery.
Memeh K et al 2022 Effect of intraoperative neuromonitoring on the risks of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury during thyroidectomy: A doubly robust approach. Ann Surg. Epub 2022 Jul 15. PMID: 35837957.

Fatty liver disease and the thyroid: Is there a link?

The potential association between fatty liver disease and thyroid function has remained controversial. Recent studies have emerged suggesting that individuals with fatty liver disease have an increased incidence of hypothyroidism. This study was performed to assess the relationships between TSH levels and fatty liver disease.
Fan H et al 2022 Thyroid stimulating hormone levels are associated with genetically predicted nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Epub 2022 Jun 28. PMID: 35763044.