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Effects of Metformin Therapy on Thyroid Volume and Functions in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Single-center Prospective Study.

OBJECTIVE: Patients with impaired glucose metabolism have increased thyroid volume and a higher prevalence of nodules. Yet, some studies show that there is an improvement in these thyroid parameters after diabetes treatment. Our observational study aimed to reveal the effect of treatment on thyroid function, thyroid volume, and the presence of nodules in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients who were started on metformin treatment.

METHODS: Euthyroid and subclinically hypothyroid patients with a serum TSH level of <10 mU/L, who were newly diagnosed with T2DM and started on metformin as an antidiabetic treatment and not used any thyroid medication previously, were included in our study. Patients' characteristics were recorded. Baseline and 6th-month serum thyroid function tests were scheduled. Baseline and 6th-month thyroid gland characteristics were examined by thyroid ultrasonography.

RESULTS: A total of 101 (37 males, 64 females) newly diagnosed T2DM patients with euthyroid (n=95) or subclinical hypothyroidism (n=6) were included in the study. The mean age of the patients was 53.02 ± 11.9 years, and the mean BMI was 29.60 ± 3.9 kg/m2. Fifty-two (52%) patients were classified as obese. Body weight, BMI, serum TSH, ALT, Anti-TPO levels, and thyroid volume decreased significantly in the 6th-month compared to baseline values (p = 0.000; p = 0.000; p = 0.011; p = 0.022; p = 0.000, respectively). Serum anti-Tg, fT4, fT3 levels, and thyroid nodule count did not change significantly. A high agreement was found between the baseline and 6thmonth nodule counts (gamma= 0.886; p < 0.001) and the presence of multi-nodularity in the thyroid (gamma= 0.941; p < 0.001), but no significant change was observed. Anti-TPO levels showed a significant decrease in both with and without obesity groups at the end of 6 months (p = 0.003, p = 0.009, respectively). Serum TSH level decreased significantly only in non-obese subjects (p = 0.004), and thyroid volume decreased significantly only in obese subjects (p = 0.000).

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that metformin treatment significantly reduces body weight, BMI, thyroid volume, and serum TSH, ALT, and Anti-TPO levels in patients with newly diagnosed T2DM. Moreover, serum TSH levels showed a significant decrease in non-obese subjects, while thyroid volume showed a significant decrease in obese subjects.

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