JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Non-toxic nodular goiter: treatment and follow-up].

Between 1982 and 1993, 224 patients (196 females and 28 males) with benign lesion of the thyroid underwent surgery. This group included: 1) 210 pts with p multinodular goiter or solitary nodule with normal serum levels of T3, T4, FT3, FT4, TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone; 2) 14 pts with a hyper-functioning goiter; 3) 12 pts with recurrent nodules following surgery which had been carried out in another hospital. In this study only those pts with solid cold (hypofunctioning) nodules which had not been treated previously were evaluated. The minimal follow-up was 18 months. It consisted of serologic studies (86 cases), ultrasonography (70 cases) and ultrasonography and scintigraphy (5 cases). We performed isthmusectomy in 2 cases, total lobectomy in 42 cases and subtotal thyroidectomy in 42 cases. Out of the 86 pts evaluated, 70 (81.3%) were treated with post-surgical hormone suppressive therapy (Levothyroxin 100 gamma daily). The endogenous thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) was suppressed in 50 cases (71%), while 20 pts (28.5%) remained within the norm. Thyroid ultrasonography demonstrated recurrent nodules in 14 out of the 86 evaluated (16.2%). All these pts received thyroxine therapy. Among the 50 pts who had been treated with an adequate dose of thyroid hormone, 5 had recurrences (10%), as compared to 3 out of the 20 cases (15%) who had been administered thyroxine dosage not high enough to suppress THS and to 6 pts out of the 16 (33.5%) who had not been administered thyroid hormone. One out of the 20 pts (5%) who had undergone total lobectomy and post-surgical suppressive hormone therapy developed recurrence as compared to 6 out of the 24 pts (25%) who had under gone lobectomy and had been administered a hormone dosage which was not high enough to suppress TSH. Four out of the cases (13.3%) who had under gone subtotal thyroidectomy and post-surgical suppressive hormone therapy had recurrence as compared to 3 out of the 12 (25%) who had undergone subtotal thyroidectomy without TSH suppression. We conclude that treatment with thyroid hormone decreases the risk of benign recurrences only when undergone a long thyroxine therapy in doses high enough to suppress endogenous TSH.

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