Use of thyroid hormones in hypothyroid and euthyroid patients: a THESIS* survey of Belgian specialists *THESIS: treatment of hypothyroidism in Europe by specialists: an international survey

Burlacu, Maria-Cristina ✉; Attanasio, Roberto; Hegedus, Laszlo; Nagy, Endre V [Nagy, Endre (Endokrinológia), author] Endocrinológiai Tanszék (UD / BelgyI); Papini, Enrico; Perros, Petros; Sawadogo, Kiswendsida; Bex, Marie; Corvilain, Bernard; Daumerie, Chantal; Decallonne, Brigitte; Gruson, Damien; Lapauw, Bruno; Reyes, Rodrigo Moreno; Petrossians, Patrick; Poppe, Kris; Van den Bruel, Annick; Unuane, David

English Article (Journal Article) Scientific
Published: THYROID RESEARCH 1756-6614 1756-6614 15 (1) Paper: 3 , 10 p. 2022
  • SJR Scopus - Endocrine and Autonomic Systems: Q3
  • Clinical medicine
Background: Hypothyroidism is a topic that continues to provoke debate and controversy with regards to specific indications, type of thyroid hormone substitution and efficacy. We investigated the use of thyroid hormones in clinical practice in Belgium, a country where currently only levothyroxine (LT4) tablet formulations are available.Method: Members of the Belgian Endocrine Society were invited to respond to an online questionnaire. Results were compared with those from other THESIS surveys.Results: Eighty (50%) of the invited 160 individuals, completed the questionnaire. LT4 was the first treatment of choice for all respondents. As secondary choice, some also prescribed liothyronine (LT3) and LT4 + LT3 combinations (2 and 7 respondents, respectively). Besides hypothyroidism, 34 and 50% of respondents used thyroid hormones for infertile euthyroid TPOAb positive women and the treatment of a growing non-toxic goiter, respectively. Had alternative formulations of LT4 to tablets been available (soft gel or liquid L-T4), 2 out of 80 (2.5%) participants would consider them for patients achieving biochemical euthyroidism but remaining symptomatic. This proportion was higher in case of unexplained poor biochemical control of hypothyroidism (13.5%) and in patients with celiac disease or malabsorption or interfering drugs (10%). In symptomatic euthyroid patients, 20% of respondents would try combined LT4+ LT3 treatment. Psychosocial factors were highlighted as the main contributors to persistent symptoms.Conclusions: LT4 tablets is the preferred treatment for hypothyroidism in Belgium. A minority of the respondents would try combined LT4+ LT3 in symptomatic but biochemically euthyroid patients. Thyroid hormones are prescribed for euthyroid infertile women with thyroid autoimmunity and patients with non-toxic goiter, a tendency noted in other European countries, despite current evidence of lack of benefit.
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2024-07-25 12:40