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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jul;90(7):4124-7. Epub 2005 Apr 5.

Spontaneous normalization of thyrotropin concentrations in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism.

Author information

1
Department of Endocrinology, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Carretera Colmenar km 9, 28034 Madrid, Spain. mibarsd@infomed.es

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Patients with subclinical hypothyroidism may revert to normal TSH values.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to examine the time course of the normalization of TSH levels in subclinical hypothyroidism.

DESIGN:

This was a prospective, observational study with no intervention, with a duration of follow-up of 12-72 months.

SETTING:

Outpatients visited an endocrinology clinic of a general hospital.

PATIENTS:

Forty patients (32 women, mean age 62.8 +/- 8.2 yr) with spontaneous subclinical hypothyroidism (TSH > 5 mU/liter and normal free T(4)) participated in the study. Each patient normalized their TSH values without T(4) therapy throughout the follow-up.

MEASUREMENTS:

TSH and free T(4) levels were evaluated every 6 months.

RESULTS:

Normalization occurred at a median time of 18 months (range, 6-60 months). Fifteen patients normalized their TSH levels during the first year of follow-up and 27 during the first 2 yr. Ten patients normalized their TSH values at the fourth or fifth year. Only four patients reverted to TSH values less than 2 mU/liter. Final TSH levels achieved by the patients were significantly correlated with the time elapsed until normalizing these levels (r = 0.367; P = 0.020).

CONCLUSIONS:

There is no clear pattern of TSH normalization, although most patients normalize their TSH values early in the follow-up. The final TSH reached seems to be related to the time of normalization.

PMID:
15811925
DOI:
10.1210/jc.2005-0375
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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