The cause of continued suppression of serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels during antithyroid drug therapy in some Graves' patients is unclear. Recently, there has been a notable explanation involving the direct inhibition of TSH receptor antibody (TRAb) on TSH secretion in the pituitary gland. The purpose of this study is to verify the relation between TRAb or other clinical parameters and the continued suppression of serum TSH level during antithyroid drug therapy in patients with Graves' disease. We reviewed the medical records of patients with Graves' disease between 1995 and 2002 at Samsung Medical Center. We selected 167 Graves' patients who had been euthyroid for at least 12 months after recovery of serum T3 and T4 levels during the antithyroid drug therapy. We analyzed the correlation of the interval until recovery of serum TSH with the pretreatment clinical parameters. We compared the recovery rates of suppressed TSH levels between pretreatment thyrotrophin-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin (TBII)-positive (> 15%) and TBII-negative patients. We also compared the clinical parameters between two groups at the time of diagnosis and after recovery of thyroid hormone. Pretreatment serum T3 level, 131I uptake, TBII activity, and the time to recovery of T3 or T4/free T4 level showed significant positive correlations with the interval until recovery of serum TSH level (p< 0.05). Recovery rates of serum TSH levels at 3 months after recovery of thyroid hormone were significantly lower in pretreatment TBII-positive patients than those in TBII-negative patients (p < 0.01). Serum TSH levels were significantly lower in TBII-positive patients at 3months after recovery of thyroid hormone (p < 0.05). TBII activities inversely correlated only with serum TSH levels at 3 months after recovery of thyroid hormone (p < 0.001). In conclusion, continued suppression of serum TSH level may be attributed to TRAb activity as well as the pretreatment severity of thyrotoxicosis and the time to recovery of thyroid hormone in patients with Graves' disease during antithyroid drug therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism