European journal of endocrinology

Short-term hypothyroidism after Levothyroxine-withdrawal in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer: clinical and quality of life consequences.

PMID 17218721


Acute hypothyroidism induced by thyroid hormone withdrawal in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer during monitoring for remnant or metastatic disease, seriously affects multiple organs and systems, and especially in severe cases can impair quality of life. Indeed, it may induce untoward cardiovascular effects and can be hazardous in patients with underlying cardiovascular disease, particularly in the elderly. Moreover, acute hypothyroidism deranges the lipid profile and exacerbates neuropsychiatric illness. The introduction of recombinant human TSH (rhTSH) as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool in the care of patients with thyroid cancer has widened the scope of disease management. The use of rhTSH prevents derangement of various systems at approximately equivalent societal costs to that of withdrawal and promotes compliance while preserving the patient's normal daily functioning and productivity. Its reliability allied with its safety render this compound a valid alternative in the monitoring of patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma as well as providing an alternative therapeutic procedure whenever LT4-withdrawal may be hazardous or in cases of patient non-compliance.