In order to establish its usefulness for the diagnosis and follow-up of thyroid autoimmune diseases, thyroid ultrasonography together with free T4 (FT4), free T3 (FT3), TSH, antibodies (Tg Ab) and thyroperoxidase antibodies (TPO Ab) were performed and re-evaluated during a 3-yr follow-up in 482 apparently healthy subjects, living in a borderline iodine-sufficient urban area. Thyroid dysfunction was found in 7 out of 12 (58.3%) subjects with circulating thyroid autoantibodies, who also had thyroid hypoechogenicity (2 had overt and 3 subclinical hypothyroidism at booking; 2 developed subclinical hypothyroidism during the follow-up), and in none of the 12 subjects with normal thyroid echostructure (chi2=7.26, p=0.007). Thyroid dysfunction was found in 4 out of 29 (13.7%) subjects with negative Tg and/or TPO Ab who also had thyroid hypoechogenicity (1 had Graves' disease at booking, 1 developed Graves' disease and 2 subclinical hypothyroidism during the follow-up), and in none of the 429 with normal thyroid echostructure (chi2=82.03, p<0.0001). Although positive TPO and/or Tg Ab were more frequent (24/482, 5%) in subjects with thyroid dysfunction (7/11) than in those who remained euthyroid during the study (17/471, chi2=69.66, p<0.0001), thyroid hypoechogenicity had a higher sensitivity than the positivity of thyroid autoantibody tests (100 vs 63.3%) for diagnosing or predicting thyroid dysfunction. In conclusion: 1) thyroid ultrasonography is a useful tool to detect thyroid autoimmune disease in apparently healthy subjects; 2) present and future thyroid dysfunction is more readily predicted by a hypoechogenic pattern at thyroid ultrasound than by the occurrence of serum thyroid autoantibodies.
|Autori:||Rago T; Chiovato L; Grasso L; Pinchera A; Vitti P|
|Titolo:||Thyroid ultrasonography as a tool for detecting thyroid autoimmune disease and predicting thyroid disfunction in apparently healthy subjects|
|Anno del prodotto:||2001|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|