Complete surgical removal of the thyroid enhanced health-related quality of life and fatigue in patients with Hashimoto disease when compared to medication with levothyroxine. Thyroidectomy also normalized serum antithyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) antibodies. Findings from a randomized trial got published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Hashimoto disease is the most prevalent autoimmune disease worldwide. The disease affects thyroid function and ultimately leads to hypothyroidism. Hormone substitution is effective for some patients, but some suffer from persistent symptoms, such as profound fatigue, poor sleep quality, muscle and joint tenderness, and dry mouth and eyes, despite medical therapy. To date, no specific treatment exists for such patients.
The research team from Telemark Hospital sought to determine whether thyroidectomy could improve symptoms in patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis who still had symptoms despite having normal thyroid gland function while receiving medical therapy.
During follow-up, only the surgical group demonstrated improvement in measures of health and fatigue. Median serum anti-TPO antibody titers also decreased in the surgical group but not in the medical therapy group. These findings suggest that surgery should be considered in patients with normal hormone function and Hashimoto disease.