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Eur J Endocrinol. 2015 Dec;173(6):801-8. doi: 10.1530/EJE-15-0484. Epub 2015 Sep 15.

Five-year prospective evaluation of thyroid function in girls with subclinical mild hypothyroidism of different etiology.

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Department of PediatricGynecological, Microbiological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Messina, Via Consolare Valeria, 98125 Messina, ItalyPediatric Endocrinology UnitDepartment of Translational Medical Sciences, University 'Federico II', Naples, ItalyDepartment of PediatricsUniversity of Turin, Turin, Italy.



To follow-up for 5 years thyroid status evolution in 127 girls with mild (TSH 5-10 mU/l) subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) of different etiologies.


The population was divided into two age-matched groups of 42 and 85 girls with either idiopathic (group A) or Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT)-related SH (group B). Group B was in turn divided into three subgroups, according to whether SH was either isolated or associated with Turner syndrome (TS) or Down syndrome (DS).


At the end of follow-up the rate of girls who became euthyroid was higher in group A (61.9% vs 10.6%), whereas the rates of patients who remained SH (55.3% vs 26.2%), became overtly hypothyroid (30.6% vs 11.9%) or required levothyroxine (l-T4) therapy (63.5% vs 23.8%) were higher in group B. Among the girls of group B, the risk of remaining SH or developing overt hypothyroidism was higher in the subgroups with TS or DS than in those with isolated HT.


Long-term prognosis of mild and idiopathic SH is frequently benign, even though a l-T4 treatment may be needed throughout follow-up in almost a quarter of cases; long-term prognosis is different in the girls with either idiopathic or HT-related SH; and the association with either TS or DS impairs the outcome of HT-related SH.

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