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Thyroid function after bone marrow transplantation: possible association between immune-mediated thyrotoxicosis and hypothyroidism.

Transplantation 2001 Februrary 16
BACKGROUND: Thyroid dysfunction after bone marrow transplantation (BMT) has been investigated in many studies, and most posttransplant thyroid disorders are now recognized as a late complication of transplantation. However, these studies mainly focused on late thyroid function after BMT, and we have little information on early changes of thyroid function after BMT.

METHODS: We prospectively investigated thyroid function in 57 patients receiving BMT. Serum thyroid-stimulating hormone, free triiodothyronine, and free thyroxine levels were determined at least monthly in the first 3 months, once between 3 and 12 months and once in the second year after BMT.

RESULTS: During the first 6 months after BMT, 24 and 7 patients were diagnosed as having euthyroid sick syndrome (ETS) and thyrotoxicosis, respectively. Of the 52 patients alive 1 year after transplantation, 9 patients were still diagnosed as having ETS, and 8 patients developed hypothyroidism. Patients with thyrotoxicosis showed similar characteristics, and the high incidence of thyrotoxicosis after BMT is a novel finding. The median for the onset of thyrotoxicosis was day 111 after transplantation. Thyrotoxicosis was transient in all of the patients, but in seven patients hypothyroidism followed, the median onset at 12 months after BMT. Serum thyroglobulin levels were elevated in five patients, and antibodies autoreactive to the thyroid gland were detected in seven patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Thyrotoxicosis may be a distinct clinical entity of thyroid dysfunction after BMT and may serve to predict the development of hypothyroidism. Immune-mediated thyroid injury may contribute to the development of posttransplant hypothyroidism.

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