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Haixia Guan, Nathalie Silva de Morais, Jessica Stuart, Sara Ahmadi, Ellen Marqusee, Mathew I Kim and Erik K. Alexander

Objective

To investigate the concordance of serologic and sonographic evidence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis with its gold standard histopathologic identification.

Design

We performed a retrospective analysis on a cohort of 825 consecutive patients in whom TPOAb and thyroid ultrasound were performed, and in whom thyroid nodule evaluation led to surgical and histopathologic analysis. The presence or absence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis on histopathology was correlated with serologic and sonographic markers. We further assessed the impact of low versus high titers of TPOAb upon this concordance.

Results

Of 825 patients, 277 (33.5%) had histologic confirmation of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, 235 patients (28.4%) had elevated serum levels of TPOAb, and 197 (23.8%) had sonographic evidence of diffuse heterogeneity. Of those with histopathologic evidence, only 64% had elevated TPOAb (sensitivity: 63.9%; specificity: 89.4%), while only 49% were sonographically diffusely heterogeneous (sensitivity: 49.1%; specificity: 88.9%). A subset of only 102 of 277 (37%) with histologically proven Hashimoto’s thyroiditis was positive for both TPOAb and diffusely heterogeneous. Concordance analysis demonstrated that TPOAb and histopathology had higher agreement (κ = 0.55) than did ultrasound and histopathology (κ = 0.40) for the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Higher titers of TPOAb correlated with a higher likelihood of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, with a best cutoff of 2.11-fold the upper normal level of TPOAb.

Conclusion

Only moderate concordance exists between serological evidence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and histopathologic findings, though it increases with higher TPOAb concentration. Diffuse heterogeneity on ultrasound is a less-sensitive diagnostic tool than elevated TPOAb.

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Fan Yang, Zhongyan Shan, Xiaochun Teng, Yushu Li, Haixia Guan, Wei Chong, Di Teng, Xiaohui Yu, Chenling Fan, Hong Dai, Yang Yu, Rong Yang, Jia Li, Yanyan Chen, Dong Zhao, Jinyuan Mao and Weiping Teng

Objective: An increasing incidence of hyperthyroidism has been observed when iodine supplementation has been introduced to an iodine-deficient population. Moreover, the influence of chronic more than adequate or excessive iodine intake on the epidemiological features of hyperthyroidism has not been widely and thoroughly described. To investigate the influences of different iodine intake levels on the incidence of hyperthyroidism, we conducted a prospective community-based survey in three communities with mild-deficient, more than adequate (previously mild deficient iodine intake), and excessive iodine intake.

Subjects and methods: In three rural Chinese communities, a total of 3761 unselected inhabitants aged above 13 years participated in the original investigation and 3018 of them received identical examinations after 5 years. Thyroid function, levels of thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb), thyroglobulin antibody and urinary iodine excretion were measured and thyroid ultrasound examination was also performed.

Results: In three communities, median urinary iodine excretion was 88, 214, and 634 μg/l (P<0.05) respectively. The cumulative incidence of hyperthyroidism was 1.4, 0.9, and 0.8% (P>0.05) respectively. Autoimmune hyperthyroidism was predominant in thyroid hyperfunction in all the three cohorts. Either positive TPOAb (>50 U/ml) or goiter in original healthy participants was associated with the occurrence of unsuspected hyperthyroidism in 5 years (logistic regression, OR=4.2 (95% CI 1.7–8.8) for positive TPOAb, OR=3.1 (95% CI 1.4–6.8) for goiter).

Conclusion: Iodine supplementation may not induce an increase in hyperthyroidism in a previously mildly iodine-deficient population. Chronic iodine excess does not apparently increase the risk of autoimmune hyperthyroidism, suggesting that excessive iodine intake may not be an environmental factor involved in the occurrence of autoimmune hyperthyroidism.