Mogelijk grotere kans herstel bij medicijnen en Graves

Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the US and is caused by an antibody that turns on the thyroid. There are three different options for the treatment of Graves’ hyperthyroidism: antithyroid drug treatment, radioactive iodine therapy and surgery. The goal with antithyroid drug treatment is to decrease the thyroid antibodies and induce a remission of the disease.

Antithyroid drugs remain the first choice for treatment in uncomplicated Graves’ disease
Heather Hofflich

Long-term prognosis after medical treatment of Graves’ disease in a northern Swedish population 2000-2010
Mohlin E et al 2013 | Eur J Endocrinol 2014;170:419-27.

Remission on antithyroid drugs occurs only ~25% of the time in the US. Radioactive iodine therapy and surgery are definitive therapy that destroys the thyroid and usually results in hypothyroidism. In Europe and Japan antithyroid drug therapy is the most common treatment option, whereas in the US radioactive iodine is favored.

This study was done to assess the stability of remission of Graves’ disease after antithyroid drugs (titration and block/replace) in the Swedish population.

This study followed patients from 2000-2011 in northern Sweden. A total of 442 patients with Graves’ disease were included in this study. Methimazole was the antithyroid drug used. The average treatment period was 6-18 months and only 219 patients were treated for >6 months. A total of 51% of the patients had goiters and 26% had Graves’ eye disease. The average follow-up was 2.1 years and the maximum 10 years. The highest relapse rate was observed within the first 6 months after stopping treatment. Surprisingly, 58% were in remission 3 to 5 years later and 56% after 10 years. Prior smokers had much better remission rates than current smokers.

Antithyroid drugs are used frequently in Sweden and this study shows a higher remission rate than previously thought. A lower remission rate was associated with increased goiter size and current smokers. This is a good study because it reminds us that the use of antithyroid drugs is an important option in treating patients with Grave’s hyperthyroidism and the remission rate may be higher now than previously thought.