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November 30, 1979

Long-term Antithyroid Treatment in Hyperthyroidism

Author Affiliations

From the Nuclear Medicine Service, Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center, and the Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1979;242(22):2408-2410. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300220020015

The major drawback to treatment of hyperthyroidism with antithyroid compounds is the reported low rate of remission. Eighty patients have been given long-term (at least one year; average, 4.4 years; range, one to 14 years) continuous treatment with a remission rate of 76% and an average follow-up of 7.8 years (one to 21 years). The prognostic test of suppressed uptake by the thyroid of less than 20% was about 75% accurate in predicting continuing remission when treatment was stopped. Of those in remission, 14 (23%) were treated for one year, 35 (57%) for one to five years, and 12 (20%) for more than five years. Mild reactions occurred in five (6%), hypothyroidism in two (3%). An antithyroid drug is safe and effective therapy for hyperthyroidism.

(JAMA 242:2408-2410, 1979)