Lacking evidence for release of thyroid hormones from circulating thyroglobulin during subtotal thyroidectomy

in European Journal of Endocrinology
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Abstract. The effect of subtotal thyroid resection for thyrotoxicosis on concentrations of serum thyroid hormones and thyroglobulin (Tg), was determined in 10 patients during operation and the subsequent 18 days. Mean serum Tg responded drastically, increasing from a pre-operative value of 0.30 nmol/l to a peak value of approximately 26 nmol/l during operation followed by a gradual decline to levels lower than before surgery on day 18. Mean serum total thyroxine was 114 nmol/l pre-operatively and free thyroxine index (FT4I) 105 units. Both fluctuated only slightly during operation. Postsurgically, the mean values decreased to below 50% of the pre-operative level. Mean serum total triiodothyronine (TT3) was 1.46 nmol/l pre-operatively. It decreased during operation, reaching a nadir of 0.55 nmol/l on day 2, whereafter the concentration increased slightly. Mean serum reverse T3 (rT3) was 0.45 nmol/l pre-operatively, increased 62% during surgery, and decreased postsurgically. The mean value of serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) was 0.61 mU/l pre-operatively and remained below 1 mU/l during and after operation, but from day 10 concentration began to rise steadily. It is concluded that the vast release of Tg during thyroid resection did not contribute to the concentration of serum T4 to an extent of clinical relevance.


     European Society of Endocrinology

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