The Journal of laryngology and otology

Total thyroidectomy for amiodarone-associated thyrotoxicosis: should surgery always be delayed for pre-operative medical preparation?

PMID 22613770


Amiodarone can induce severe hyperthyroidism that justifies its withdrawal and the introduction of antithyroid drugs. Continuing amiodarone use, failure to control hyperthyroidism and poor clinical progress may require thyroidectomy. This study aimed to evaluate patients' post-operative development and mid-term outcome after thyroidectomy for amiodarone-associated thyrotoxicosis. Prospective case series. Tertiary care centre. We prospectively collected cases of amiodarone-associated thyrotoxicosis requiring thyroidectomy due to failure of antithyroid treatment, despite amiodarone discontinuation. Post-thyroidectomy complications were compared immediately, 30 days and one year post-operatively, and also for scheduled versus emergency surgery cases. Of 11 total cases, nine scheduled thyroidectomy cases had no morbidity after elective surgery. Two cases required emergency surgery for multiple organ failure and cardiac problems. Immediate post-operative complications (mostly haemodynamic) occurred in both cases (emergency vs routine surgery, p = 0.018). In such cases, pre-operative medical treatment is vital to limit peri- and post-operative complications, but surgery should not be delayed if the haemodynamic status deteriorates. Surgery, with careful anaesthesia, is the cornerstone of the treatment.

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