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Peripheral blood levels of thyroglobulin mRNA and serum thyroglobulin concentrations after radioiodine ablation of multinodular goiter with or without pre-treatment with recombinant human thyrotropin.

Author(s): Rubio IG, Silva MN, Knobel M, Romao R, Possato R, Gebrin EM, Buchpiguel C, Medeiros-Neto G

Affiliation(s): Thyroid Unit (LIM-25), Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Publication date & source: 2007-07, J Endocrinol Invest., 30(7):535-40.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

We investigated the effect of therapeutic doses of radioiodine (RAI) on peripheral serum messenger thyroglobulin RNA (Tg mRNA) and serum thyroglobulin (sTg) in patients with multinodular goiter (MNG) preceded or not by treatment with recombinant human TSH (rhTSH). Fourteen patients with large MNG (91-542 ml) received RAI (550-2960 MBq). Half of the patients received 0.45 mg of rhTSH prior to the treatment (RAI+rhTSH group) and half did not (RAI group). Patients' blood samples were collected before and 24, 48, and 72 h; 7 and 30 days; and 6, 9, and 12 months after RAI treatment. Serum Tg was measured by immunoradiometric assay, serum anti-Tg by radioimmunoassay, and quantification of circulating Tg mRNA was performed by real-time PCR. The shrinkage of MNG volume was documented by serial computed tomography (CT) scans before, 6 and 12 months after RAI. Peak Tg mRNA and sTg were reached earlier in the RAI+rhTSH group (24 h and 48 h) than in the RAI group (7 days). Both declined after the peak and the lowest levels were observed at 12 months. The mean reduction of the thyroid volume was 19.8% (RAI group) and 30.3% (RAI+rhTSH group) at 6 months (ns) and 32.8% RAI and 52.5% (RAI+rhTSH group) at 12 months (p<0.05). After RAI treatment there was a significant and positive correlation between goiter volume and sTg only in the RAI group (r=0.7; p=0.032). Serum anti-Tg had a transitory and relatively small elevation in 3 and 2 patients, respectively, in the RAI and RAI+rhTSH groups. We concluded that after RAI ablation of MNG there is a rapid release of Tg into the serum possibly from the colloid, which is followed by an elevation of serum Tg mRNA that may be due to an increased release of follicular cells into the blood stream. Both phenomena are enhanced by the use of rhTSH before RAI treatment as a consequence of a more effective and prolonged radiation exposure of the thyroid follicles.

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