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Transient goiter enlargement after administration of 0.3 mg of recombinant human thyrotropin in patients with benign nontoxic nodular goiter: a randomized, double-blind, crossover trial.

Author(s): Nielsen VE, Bonnema SJ, Hegedus L

Affiliation(s): Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Odense University Hospital, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark. viveque.egsgaard@ouh.fyns-amt.dk

Publication date & source: 2006-04, J Clin Endocrinol Metab., 91(4):1317-22. Epub 2006 Jan 24.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Recombinant human (rh) TSH, in doses from 0.01 to 0.9 mg, has been used to augment the effect of radioiodine ((131)I) therapy in patients with a benign nontoxic nodular goiter. Transient thyroid enlargement and thyrotoxicosis may be seen following (131)I therapy. AIM: The aim of the study was to investigate whether rhTSH per se causes goiter enlargement, until now an issue evaluated only in healthy nongoitrous subjects. METHODS: In random order, 10 patients with nontoxic nodular goiter [mean 39.8 +/- 20.5 (sd) ml] received either 0.3 mg rhTSH or isotonic saline in a double-blinded crossover design. Thyroid volume (by ultrasound) and function were closely monitored during the following 28 d. RESULTS: Saline injection did not affect thyroid function or size. After rhTSH, median serum TSH increased from baseline 0.97 mU/liter (range 0.39-1.56) to 37.0 mU/liter (range 18.5-55.0) at 24 h (P < 0.01), with a subsequent decline to subnormal levels at d 7. Mean free T(4) and free T(3) increased significantly from baseline to a maximum at 48 h. Twenty-four hours after rhTSH, the mean goiter volume was significantly increased by 9.8 +/- 2.3% (sem) (P = 0.01) and after 48 h by 24.0 +/- 5.1% (P = 0.002). The goiter enlargement had reverted at d 7. Nine patients had symptoms of hyperthyroidism and/or cervical compression after rhTSH, as opposed to one during placebo treatment (P < 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: A transient average goiter enlargement of up to 24% is seen after 0.3 mg rhTSH. This may lead to a significant cervical compression when used for augmentation of (131)I therapy in patients with goiter. The use of lower doses of rhTSH needs to be explored.

Page last updated: 2006-11-04

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