Although subclinical hyperthyroidism (SCH) has been associated with increased risk of osteoporosis and cardiac arrhythmias, its treatment is still controversial. This study was designed as a prospective, randomized, intervention, control-study with a 1-year follow-up in order to investigate whether normalization of serum TSH in SCH using methimazole has favorable bone and heart clinical effects. Fourteen patients with endogenous SCH (not Graves' disease) were enrolled, 7 (5 women/2 men; group T) were treated with methimazole (2.5-7.5 mg/day), and 7 (5 women/2 men; group C) were followed without treatment; 10 healthy subjects were also included in the study as controls. Serum free-T3 (FT3), free-T4 (FT4) and TSH, thyroid echography, bone stiffness index (SI), as measured by heel ultrasonometry, and 24-h electrocardiography monitoring were obtained. SCH patients exhibited higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure than control subjects. They also had a significantly higher number of both ventricular premature beats (VPB) (mean+/-SEM: 681+/-238 vs 6+/-2 beats/24 h; p<0.02) and atrial premature beats (APB) (mean+/-SEM: 495+/-331 vs 7+/-2 beats/24 h; p<0.0001), and a lower SI (66+/-5 vs 96+/-3; p<0.001). Twelve months after normalization of TSH with the use of methimazole, the number of VPB decreased significantly (947+/-443 vs 214+/-109 beats/24 h; p<0.05) while it remained unchanged in untreated SCH patients (414+/-163 vs 487+/-152 beats/24 h; p=ns). An insignificant therapy effect was observed as far as APB were concerned (826+/-660 vs 144+/-75 beats/24 h; p=ns), however their number increased significantly in the untreated group (463+/-49 vs 215+/-46 beats/24 h; p<0.05). The SI increased significantly as a result of therapy in group T (64.1+/-4.8 vs 70.0+/-5.3; p<0.02) and was further reduced in group C at the end of the study (69.1+/-7.3 vs 62.9+/-7.1; p<0.001). No adverse effect was observed in group T. In conclusion, anti-thyroid therapy seems to have favor-able bone and heart clinical effects in subjects with endogenous SCH.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Endocrinological Investigation|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism