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Concept: Thyroid disease


The endocrine system and particular endocrine organs, including the thyroid, undergo important functional changes during aging. The prevalence of thyroid disorders increases with age and numerous morphological and physiological changes of the thyroid gland during the process of aging are well-known. It is to be stressed that the clinical course of thyroid diseases in the elderly differs essentially from that observed in younger individuals, because symptoms are more subtle and are often attributed to normal aging. Subclinical hypo- and hyperthyroidism, as well as thyroid neoplasms, require special attention in elderly subjects. Intriguingly, decreased thyroid function, as well as thyrotropin (TSH) levels – progressively shifting to higher values with age – may contribute to the increased lifespan.This short review focuses on recent findings concerning the alterations in thyroid function during aging, including these which may potentially lead to extended longevity, both in humans and animals.

Concepts: Thyroid disease, Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Hyperthyroidism, Thyroid, Graves' disease, Endocrine system, Triiodothyronine


Autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD), including Graves' disease (GD) and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT), is one of the most common of the immune-mediated diseases. To further investigate the genetic determinants of AITD, we conducted an association study using a custom-made single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array, the ImmunoChip. The SNP array contains all known and genotype-able SNPs across 186 distinct susceptibility loci associated with one or more immune-mediated diseases. After stringent quality control, we analysed 103 875 common SNPs (minor allele frequency >0.05) in 2285 GD and 462 HT patients and 9364 controls. We found evidence for seven new AITD risk loci (P < 1.12 × 10(-6); a permutation test derived significance threshold), five at locations previously associated and two at locations awaiting confirmation, with other immune-mediated diseases.

Concepts: Bioinformatics, Single-nucleotide polymorphism, Thyroid disease, Genetic genealogy, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Hyperthyroidism, Thyroid, Minor allele frequency


BACKGROUND: We would like to investigate the if IMRT produced better target coverage and dose sparing to adjacent normal structures as compared with 3DCRT and LOF for patients with Graves' ophthalmopathy treated with retro-orbital irradiation. METHODS: Ten consecutive patients diagnosed with Graves' ophthalmopathy were prospectively recruited into this study. An individual IMRT, 3DCRT and LOF plan was created for each patient. Conformity index (CI), homogeneity index (HI) and other dosimetric parameters of the targets and organs-at-risk (OAR) generated by IMRT were compared with the other two techniques. RESULTS: Mann–Whitney U test demonstrated that CI generated by IMRT was superior to that produced by 3DCRT and LOF (p=0.005 for both respectively). Similarly HI with IMRT was proven better than 3DCRT (p=0.007) and LOF (p=0.005). IMRT gave rise to better dose sparing to some OARs including globes, lenses and optic nerves as compared with 3DCRT but not with LOF. CONCLUSIONS: IMRT, as compared with 3DCRT and LOF, was found to have a better target coverage, conformity and homogeneity and dose sparing to some surrounding structures, despite a slight increase but clinically negligible dose to other structures. Dosimetrically it might be a preferred treatment technique and a longer follow up is warranted to establish its role in routine clinical use.

Concepts: Hospital, Thyroid disease, Hyperthyroidism, Target Corporation, Graves' ophthalmopathy


Background and objectives : Subclinical hypothyroidism is an asymptomatic condition with normal thyroxin and raised thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of subclinical hypothyroidism in primary health care (PHC) settings in Riyadh and explore the relationship of TSH level with age, gender, family history, body mass index, and co-morbid conditions.Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional study of adult visitors to nine satellites PHC clinics in military housing in Riyadh was carried out. TSH concentration and free T4 levels were measured. Data were collected by nurses and physicians during routine clinical practice in primary care. Descriptive analysis was performed on all variables in study, and relationships were explored using chi-square,t-test, analysis of variance, and linear regression.Results: A total of 340 out of 394 participants in the study gave blood samples. Subclinical hyperthyroidism was identified in 2.1% (p = .001) and subclinical hypothyroidism in 10.3% (p = .001) of the PHC visitors. TSH levels were found to be significantly higher (p = .047) in elderly population of ≥60 years and those with family history of thyroid disease. Non-significant upward trends were noted in TSH levels with hyperlipidemia and increasing blood pressure. No overt hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism was found in our study sample.Conclusion: Subclinical hypothyroidism has a prevalence of 10% of adults visiting PHC’s. TSH levels are higher in the elderly, which warrants screening of those aged 60 years and above.

Concepts: Health, Thyroid-stimulating hormone, Thyroid disease, Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Hyperthyroidism, Thyroid, Thyroid hormone


 To estimate the effectiveness and safety of thyroid hormone treatment among pregnant women with subclinical hypothyroidism.

Concepts: Childbirth, Prolactin, Thyroid disease, Constipation, Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, Thyroid, Thyroid hormone


Although growing evidence points to highly indolent behavior of encapsulated follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (EFVPTC), most patients with EFVPTC are treated as having conventional thyroid cancer.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Types of cancer, Thyroid disease


A 21-year-old woman with thyroid carcinoma underwent thyroidectomy and lymph-node dissection. Two days later, she had forced extension of the neck, nonrigid opening of the jaw, and deviation of the eyes. Videos show the reaction and the resolution after treatment with biperiden.

Concepts: Thyroid disease, Dystonia


Background: A systematic analysis of the clinical and pathologic patterns of childhood “sporadic” thyroid carcinoma in Belarus, in the absence of the “Chernobyl radioactive iodine factor,” has never been performed. The aim of this study was to establish the essential features of “sporadic” papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) in Belarusian children and adolescents, and the relationship of tumor pathology to extrathyroidal extension (ETE) and lymph node metastases. Methods: This was a retrospective population-based study with assessment of histological samples of 119 cases of thyroid cancer in Belarusian children and adolescents of 0-18 years old registered during 2005-2008 years. Sporadic PTC was noted in 94 children who were not exposed to the Chernobyl radiation release. None of the 119 cases of thyroid were follicular thyroid cancer. Results: The incidence rate of PTC was 1.13 per 100,000 persons. The median age at diagnosis was 15.1 years with fourfold predominance of diagnosis in female patients. Relapse was detected in 2% of cases with median follow-up of 4.2 years. Median tumor size was 12 mm. Three percent of the cases of PTC had multifocal growth. The classical variant of PTC was registered in 46% of the patients with thyroid cancer, the follicular variant of PTC was noted in 20% of the cases. The percent of rare types of PTC (tall cell and diffuse sclerosing) were equal to that for solid PTCs (13%, 12%, and 10%, respectively). Adolescents had a pure papillary carcinoma more often compared to children who represented tumors with mixed papillary/follicular patterns more frequently (p<0.05). Two-thirds of the patients with PTC had regional lymph node metastases. ETE was established in 39 of 74 patients in whom ETE could be assessed by morphology. Multivariate analysis showed that lymphatic invasion was the strongest independent factor associated with both ETE (p<0.0001) and lymph node metastases (p<0.0001). Conclusion: In 2005-2008, sporadic thyroid cancer in children of Belarus was represented by high prevalence of PTC and absence of follicular thyroid cancer. Sporadic cases of PTC in Belarus were characterized by smaller tumor size, a small number of cases with multifocal growth, an equal number of rare types and solid PTCs, a relatively high prevalence of pure papillary variant of PTC in adolescents, and a low frequency of early relapses. A high frequency of ETE and lymph node metastases was detected. The strongest morphologic factor associated with both of them was lymphatic invasion.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Lymph node, Chernobyl disaster, Types of cancer, Tumor, Thyroid disease, Lymph


AIMS: Understanding the exact relationship between serum thyrotropin/thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxine (FT(4)) is a prerequisite for improving diagnostic reliability and clinical decision making. METHODS: We (1) retrospectively studied the relationship between TSH and FT(4) in a large unselected clinical sample (n=6641) of primary hypothyroid, euthyroid and hyperthyroid subjects, and (2) applied a mathematical model of thyroid hormone feedback control to assess the relation between structural parameters and TSH levels in the different functional states. RESULTS: When separately analysing total sample and untreated subjects, the correlation slope for logTSH versus FT(4) for hypothyroid subjects was significantly different from that of the euthyroid panel and hyperthyroid subjects (the latter being compromised by reaching the TSH assay’s lower detection limit). As trends between functional states changed, each functional segment appeared to become differently regulated. Theoretical modelling and sensitivity analysis revealed that the influence of various structural parameters on TSH levels also depends on the overall function of the feedback loop. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that the states of hypothyroidism, euthyroidism and hyperthyroidism can be regarded as differently regulated entities. The apparent complexity could be replicated by mathematical modelling suggesting a hierarchical type of feedback regulation involving patterns of operative mechanisms unique to each condition. For clinical purposes and assay evaluation, neither the standard model relating logTSH with FT(4), nor an alternative model based on non-competitive inhibition can be reliably represented by a single correlation comparing all samples for both hormones in one all-inclusive group.

Concepts: Physics, Thyroid-stimulating hormone, Thyroid disease, Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, Thyroid, Thyroid hormone, Triiodothyronine


Studies on the role of thyroid hormones (THs) in teleost fish physiology have deployed the synthetic goitrogens, methimazol (MMI), propilthiouracil (PTU) and thiourea (TU) that are used to treat human hyperthyroidism. However, the action of the goitrogens, MMI, PTU and TU at different levels of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis in teleosts is largely unknown. The central importance of the hypothalamus and pituitary in a number of endocrine regulated systems and the cross-talk that occurs between different endocrine axes makes it pertinent to characterize the effects of MMI, PTU and TU, on several endpoints of the thyroid system. The marine teleost, sea bream (Sparus auratus) was exposed to MMI, PTU and TU (1mg/kg wet weight per day), via the diet for 21days. Radioimmunoassays (RIA) of plasma THs and ELISA of the TH carrier transthyretin (TTR) revealed that MMI was the only chemical that significantly reduced plasma TH levels (p<0.05), although both MMI and PTU significantly (p<0.05) reduced plasma levels of circulating TTR (p<0.05). Histological analysis of the thyroid tissue revealed modifications in thyrocyte activity that explain the reduced circulating levels of THs. MMI also significantly (p<0.05) up-regulated transcript abundance of liver deiodinase 1 and 2 while significantly (p<0.05) decreasing TRβ expression in the pituitary, all hallmarks of HPT axis action of goitrogens in vertebrates. The results indicate that in the sea bream MMI is the most effective goitrogen followed by PTU and that TU (1mg/kg wet weight for 21days) failed to have a goitrogenic effect. The study highlights the non-uniform effect of goitrogens on the thyroid axis of sea bream and provides the basis for future studies of thyroid disrupting pollutants.

Concepts: Thyroid disease, Hyperthyroidism, Thyroid, Endocrine system, Actinopterygii, Goitrogen, Teleostei, Goitrin