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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

1
Telemark Hospital, Skien, Norway (I.G., L.C.R., A.L., C.G., E.C., G.H.).
2
Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway (L.J., J.K.N.).
3
Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway, and University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway (T.H.L., R.O., H.S.).
4
University of Stavanger and Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway (J.T.K.).
5
Telemark Hospital, Skien, Norway, Vestfold Hospital, Tønsberg, Norway, and University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway (T.B.).

Abstract

Background:

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

Objective:

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.

Design:

Randomized trial. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02319538).

Setting:

Secondary care hospital in Norway.

Patients:

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.

Intervention:

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

Measurements:

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.

Results:

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.

Limitation:

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

Conclusion:

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.

PMID:
30856652
DOI:
10.7326/M18-0284

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