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Partial thyroid arterial embolization for the treatment of hyperthyroidism.

BACKGROUND: Hyperactive thyroid gland in patients that are unable to tolerate or accept standard therapy is a common clinical problem. Aim of the study was to evaluate effectiveness of partial thyroid arterial embolization in patients with hyperthyroidism.

MATERIAL/METHODS: From May 2004 to November 2005 partial thyroid gland embolization was performed in 15 patients. Mean thyroid gland volume was 162 ml. Embolization of one to three thyroid arteries was performed with the mixture of Histoacryl and Lipiodol. Selective angiography was performed after embolization to ensure that the targeted arteries were completely occluded. Follow-up study covered 12 patients.

RESULTS: The embolization procedure was well tolerated by all patients. Three days after embolization fT3 and fT4 levels were higher than before the procedure. Further laboratory tests showed quick reversal to near-normal or normal levels of thyroid hormones. 12 weeks follow-up showed: normal serum levels of fT3, fT4 and TSH in 9 of 12 patients (75%), hyperthyroidism in 3 of 12 patients (25%), goiter volume reduction of approximately 32% of its original volume (from 13 to 76.3%), mean thyroid gland volume of 94ml. One year after embolization 7 of 12 patients required thyreostatic drugs. At two and four years follow-up thyreostatics doses were significantly lower and thyroid tissue was fibrotic.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on our results the treatment of the thyroid gland goiters using arterial thyroid gland partial embolization may be offered as an effective alternative for patients who will not or cannot accept standard therapy.

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