Hussain YS, Hookham JC, Allahabadia A, Balasubramanian SP
Treatment options in Graves’ disease are clearly defined, but management practices and the perceptions of success are varied. The outcomes of treatment in large consecutive cohorts of Graves’ disease have not been well characterised. The study describes the epidemiology, management strategies and medium term outcomes following anti-thyroid drug treatment, radio-iodine ablation and surgery in Graves’ disease.
All patients (n = 659) who received treatment for a new diagnosis of Graves’ disease in secondary care over a 5 year period were included with a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 42.9 (29-57.5) months.
The age adjusted incidence of adult onset Graves’ disease in Sheffield, UK was 24.8 per 100,000 per year. Excluding 35 patients lost to follow-up, 93.1% (n = 581) were controlled on anti-thyroid drug treatment. Of these, 73.6% went into remission following withdrawal of anti-thyroid drugs; 5.2% were still undergoing initial therapy; 13.3% lost control whilst on anti-thyroid drugs; and 7.9% went on to have either surgery or radio-iodine ablation whilst controlled on anti-thyroid drugs. Of the 428 patients who achieved remission, 36.7% relapsed. Of 144 patients who had radio-iodine ablation treatment, 5.6% relapsed and needed further treatment. Of 119 patients having surgery, 5.2% had long-term hypoparathyroidism and none had documented long-term recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy.
In the follow-up, 39.9% of patients underwent surgery or radio-iodine ablation with little morbidity. Up to two-thirds of patients who achieved remission did not relapse. Data on effectiveness and risks of treatments for Graves’ disease presented in this study will help clinicians and patients in decision making.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UK; University of Sheffield, UK
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