source: Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes
authors: Liu X, Qiang W, Liu X, Liu L, Liu S, Gao A, Gao S, Shi B summary/abstract:
Antithyroid drug therapy is one of the main medical treatments for Graves’ disease. There have been conflicting reports as to whether the addition of exogenous L-thyroxine improves remission rates more than antithyroid drugs alone. This randomized, controlled and prospective clinical trial was undertaken to investigate the long-term outcome of methimazole treatment with or without exogenous L-thyroxine in Chinese patients.
145 patients with Graves’ disease were randomly divided into 3 groups and all patients initially received 30 mg of methimazole daily for at least 1 month and then followed the titration -regimen with or without L-thyroxine: group 1 (30 mg→20 mg→15 mg→10 mg→5 mg); group 2 (30 mg→20 mg→15 mg→10 mg+L-thyroxine→5 mg+L-thyroxine); group 3 (30 mg→20 mg→15 mg→10 mg+L-thyroxine→5 mg+L-thyroxine→2.5 mg+L-thyroxine). The drug therapy was discontinued after 5 months of the final dose.
16 out of 46 patients in group 1 (34.8%), 12 out of 47 in group 2 (25.5%) and 16 out of 52 in group 3 (30.8%) had a recurrence of Graves’ disease within 6-year follow-up after drug withdrawal. Survival Analysis showed no significant differences in the remission rates between any 2 groups, despite the remission rates in group 2 and 3 were slightly higher than that in group 1.
The addition of L-thyroxine to methimazole treatment in patients with Graves’ disease neither improves nor prevents the remission or recurrence of Graves’ disease in China.
First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, China DOI: