Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Intern Med. 2019 Apr 2;170(7):453-464. doi: 10.7326/M18-0284. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

Thyroidectomy Versus Medical Management for Euthyroid Patients With Hashimoto Disease and Persisting Symptoms: A Randomized Trial.

Author information

Telemark Hospital, Skien, Norway (I.G., L.C.R., A.L., C.G., E.C., G.H.).
Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway (L.J., J.K.N.).
Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway, and University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway (T.H.L., R.O., H.S.).
University of Stavanger and Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway (J.T.K.).
Telemark Hospital, Skien, Norway, Vestfold Hospital, Tønsberg, Norway, and University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway (T.B.).



Hashimoto disease is a chronic autoimmune thyroiditis. Despite adequate hormone substitution, some patients have persistent symptoms that may be the result of immunologic pathophysiology.


To determine whether thyroidectomy improves symptoms in patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis who still have symptoms despite having normal thyroid gland function while receiving medical therapy.


Randomized trial. ( NCT02319538).


Secondary care hospital in Norway.


150 patients aged 18 to 79 years with persistent Hashimoto-related symptoms despite euthyroid status while receiving hormone replacement therapy and with serum antithyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) antibody titers greater than 1000 IU/mL.


Total thyroidectomy or medical management with hormone substitution to secure euthyroid status in both groups.


The primary outcome was general health score on the Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) at 18 months. Secondary outcomes were adverse effects of surgery, the other 7 SF-36 subscores, fatigue questionnaire scores, and serum anti-TPO antibody titers at 6, 12, and 18 months.


During follow-up, only the surgical group demonstrated improvement: Mean general health score increased from 38 to 64 points, for a between-group difference of 29 points (95% CI, 22 to 35 points) at 18 months. Fatigue score decreased from 23 to 14 points, for a between-group difference of 9.3 points (CI, 7.4 to 11.2 points). Chronic fatigue frequency decreased from 82% to 35%, for a between-group difference of 39 percentage points (CI, 23 to 53 percentage points). Median serum anti-TPO antibody titers decreased from 2232 to 152 IU/mL, for a between-group difference of 1148 IU/mL (CI, 1080 to 1304 IU/mL). In multivariable regression analyses, the adjusted treatment effects remained similar to the unadjusted effects.


Results are applicable only to a subgroup of patients with Hashimoto disease, and follow-up was limited to 18 months.


Total thyroidectomy improved health-related quality of life and fatigue, whereas medical therapy did not. This improvement, along with concomitant elimination of serum anti-TPO antibodies, may elucidate disease mechanisms.

Primary Funding Source:

Telemark Hospital.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center