Latest Advances in Clinical Thyroid Research Presented at American Thyroid Association Annual Meeting

September 21, 2016 — Leading clinicians and scientists from around the globe came together to share and discuss the most recent research data to help improve the care of patients with thyroid disease at the upcoming 86th Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association (ATA), September 21-25, 2016, in Denver, Colorado. Among the many oral and poster presentations delivered at the ATA meeting that highlighted advances in clinical research are a select few described below.

N. Khandelwal, B. Johns, and J. Castelli-Haley, from Abbvie, Inc., Mettawa, IL, compared all-cause and disease-related healthcare costs in a retrospective study of adult males with hypothyroidism who either remained on Synthroid throughout the study or switched from using Synthroid to another levothyroxine agent, either branded or generic. In the poster entitled “Economic Impact of Switching Branded Levothyroxine (Synthroid) in Patients with Hypothyroidism,” the researchers report higher mean medical and all-cause costs for the patients who switched agents, and a statistically significant increase in disease-related costs for this group of patients.

The poster “TPOAb Levels Well Below Commonly Used Cut-offs Already Affect Gestational Thyroid Function and the Thyroidal Response to hCG” describes a study in which T. Korevaar and colleagues from Erasmus University Medical Center and Rotterdam Thyroid Center, Rotterdam, and Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands, examine the association between thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibody with thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (FT4), and thyroidal human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) response in pregnancy. The authors found that TPOAbs begin to affect maternal thyroid function well below commonly used cut-off levels during early a nd late pregnancy, with a stronger effect seen during early pregnancy.

A. Patel and coauthors from University of Nebraska Medical Center, and Nebraska Methodist Health System, Omaha, NE, and Michigan State University, Grand Rapids, MI present a poster entitled “Optimal Timing of Thyroglobulin Measurement after Thyroidectomy.” They describe a prospective, observational study in which they measured serum thyroglobulin, thyroglobulin antibody, and thyroid stimulating hormone in patients before they underwent total thyroidectomy and at 7-14 days, 4 and 6 weeks, and 3 months after the procedure in subjects with benign disease, with additional measurements at 6 and 12 months in subjects with thyroid cancer. The researchers propose that 6 weeks post-thyroidectomy is the optimal timeframe to evaluate the thyroglobulin nadir and determine the need for additional therapy.


The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer. ATA is an international membership medical society with over 1,700 members from 43 countries around the world. Celebrating its 93rd anniversary, the ATA delivers its mission — of being devoted to thyroid biology and to the prevention and treatment of thyroid disease through excellence in research, clinical care, education, and public health — through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded professional journals, Thyroid, Clinical Thyroidology, and VideoEndocrinology; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer. The ATA promotes thyroid awareness and information through its online Clinical Thyroidology for the Public and extensive, authoritative explanations of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer in both English and Spanish. The ATA website serves as the clinical resource for patients and the public who look for reliable information on the Internet.  Every fifth year, the American Thyroid Association joins with the Latin American Thyroid Society, the European Thyroid Association, and the Asia and Oceania Thyroid Association to co-sponsor the International Thyroid Congress (ITC).