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Hans Perrild and Bendt Brock Jacobsen

Thyrotoxicosis during the first two decades of life is rare compared to that in adults, with an incidence of 0.8 per 100000 children per year (1). This limits the experience in the paediatric clinics, and adult treatment strategies are often applied to the thyrotoxic child.

About 95% of thyrotoxic children have Graves' disease (1, 2), in contrast to findings in adults where a significant number of toxic adenomas and multinodular toxic goitres are seen, especially in areas with a relatively low iodine intake (3). It is suggested that Graves' disease in childhood is a self-limiting disorder with a remission rate of 25% every 2 years (4). These observations have to be considered in the choice of therapy.

There are three principal treatments today: antithyroid drugs (ATD), surgery or radioiodine. It is well known that the primary management of thyrotoxicosis in adults is different in Europe, Japan and the USA (5).

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Hans Perrild, Laszlo Hegedüs and Klaus Arnung

Abstract. Eight healthy males and 8 healthy females without a family history of thyroid disease or detectable thyroid autoantibodies were given 300 mg of lithium carbonate twice a day for 28 days. Using a precise and accurate ultrasonic technique we demonstrated an increase in median thyroid volume from 18 ml on day 0 to 34 ml on day 28 (P < 0.005) in the female group, whereas the median thyroid volume was unchanged in the male group. A significant increase in basal serum TSH level and serum TSH levels 20, 60 and 90 min after 200 μg of TRH iv was found in both groups after 28 days of lithium treatment. The means of the individual TSH increments during the TRH test were not significantly different between the two sexes neither before nor after lithium treatment. After 14 and 28 days a significant fall in serum T4 levels was found in both sexes. 131I uptake (24 h) in the thyroid gland was increased in both sexes, but only in the male group was the mean PB131I (24 h) significantly reduced after 28 days of lithium treatment. In conclusion the present study suggests a difference in susceptibility of the thyroid gland to the growth stimulating effect of minute increments in serum TSH in young healthy males and females given lithium carbonate.

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Peter S Oturai, Lars Friberg, Ian Sam and Hans Perrild

To assess the regional changes in cerebral blood flow, 10 healthy volunteers were given 400 μg thyrotropin-releasing hormone iv in a double-blind, randomized, cross-over study. Regional cerebral blood flow was determined simultaneously in two slices of the brain, using a single photon emission computerized tomograph and inhalation of 133Xe. Thyrotropin-releasing hormone caused a significant mean increase of 3.7% (range −8.8–22.7) in blood flow in a region consistent with the left thalamus compared to placebo (3.2% decrease). In 25 other regions no significant change was detected. The thalamic region has previously been shown to be a region especially affected by thyrotropin-releasing hormone in animal studies. The thyrotropin-releasing hormone injection was followed by a minor rise in systemic blood pressure, but not a rise that could affect the cerebral blood flow. The effect of thyrotropin-releasing hormone on the regional cerebral blood flow in the thalamic region was much lower compared to changes found in sedated animals given a hundredfold higher dose of thyrotropin-releasing hormone.

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Caroline Raun Hansen, Hans Perrild, Birgitte Gade Koefoed and Mette Zander


To examine whether video consultations preceded by measurements of blood glucose, weight and blood pressure as add-on to standard care could contribute to achieving and maintaining good diabetes control among patients with poorly regulated type 2 diabetes (T2D).


Randomized controlled trial.


165 patients with T2D were randomized 1:1 to telemedicine intervention as add-on to clinic-based care or control (clinic-based care). The intervention consisted of monthly video conferences with a nurse via a tablet computer and lasted for 32 weeks. Regularly self-monitored measurements of blood sugar, blood pressure and weight were uploaded and visible to patient and nurse. Both groups were followed up six months after the end of the intervention period.

Primary endpoint

HbA1c after eight months.


Video conferences preceded by uploads of measurements as add-on to clinic-based care led to a significant reduction of HbA1c compared to that in standard care (0.69% vs 0.18%, P = 0.022). However, at six-month follow-up, the inter-group difference in HbA1c-reduction was no longer significant. Non-completers had higher HbA1c levels at baseline and a lower degree of education.


Video consultations preceded by uploading relevant measurements can lead to clinically and statistically significant improvements in glycemic control among patients who have not responded to standard regimens. However, continuing effort and attention are essential as the effect does not persist when intervention ends. Furthermore, future studies should focus on differentiation as the most vulnerable patients are at greater risk of non-adherence.

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Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Laszlo Hegedüs, Jens M. Hansen and Hans Perrild

Abstract. Twenty-five patients with non-toxic diffuse goitre were studied during and after 12 months of treatment with 60 μg triiodothyronine daily in order to see whether a correlation could be found between the reductions of thyroid volume, using ultrasonic scanning, and serum thyroglobulin. Thyroid function tests and thyroid volume determination were performed before treatment and after 3, 6 and 12 months of therapy in 19 patients (group 1). In patients of group 2 (n = 19) the same tests were performed at the end of 12 months treatment and 6 and 12 months after withdrawal. Before treatment all patients had a significantly increased thyroid volume compared to controls matched according to sex, age and body weight (P < 0.001). Serum thyroglobulin was elevated compared to controls (P < 0.02), with a significantly positive correlation to the thyroid volume (Spearmann's Rho = 0.52, P < 0.02). Both serum thyroglobulin and thyroid volume decreased during treatment in the majority of the patients, concomitantly in approximately half of them. After withdrawal of treatment (group 2) serum thyroglobulin showed a median increase of 54% after 6 months and remained unchanged thereafter, whereas the thyroid volume was unchanged after 6 months. These findings might support the concept that the regulation of thyroid growth and of protein synthesis and degradation might be determined by different factors.

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Hans Perrild, Jens M. Hansen, Klaus Arnung, Poul Z. Olsen and Ulla Danielsen

Abstract. Electroencephalography (EEG) and neuropsychological tests empirically shown to be sensitive to diffuse cerebral damage were performed in 26 patients 10 years after successful treatment of hyperthyroidism and in a control group with non-toxic goitre. In the hyperthyroid state 81% had abnormal EEG before treatment, and 10 years after treatment 68% still had abnormal EEG compared with 41% in the control group (P < 0.05). In 7 out of 11 neuropsychological tests the previously hyperthyroid patients showed significant impairment compared with the control group. Twenty-three per cent of the patients displayed marked to severe intellectual impairment, 31% moderate and 41% slight or no impairment compared with 0%, 31% and 69%, respectively, in the control group (P < 0.05). Four patients had been granted disability pension on the basis of the intellectual dysfunction. Signs of intellectual impairment indicating irreversible brain dysfunction after thyrotoxicosis thus seem to be a frequent, although hitherto not generally recognized, finding.

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Hans Perrild, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, Karine Bech, Preben Ahlgren and Jens Mølholm Hansen

Abstract. Nine consecutive patients with unilateral ophthalmopathy with suspected endocrine pathogenesis were investigated with a TRH test, a T3 suppression-test, thyroid autoantibodies and a subsequent computerized tomography (CT)-scan. All patients were clinically and biochemically euthyroid. Seven of 9 patients had a normal TRH test and 6 of 7 had a normal T3 suppression test. Slightly to moderately elevated microsomal and thyroglobulin (determined with radioimmunoassay) autoantibodies were found in 5 of 8 patients and in 1 patient thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins (TSI) were found. Three of the patients had normal thyroid function tests and no detectable thyroid autoantibodies. The subsequent CT-scan revealed that one of these had a maxillary tumour protruding into the orbita. The remaining 8 patients had enlargement of one (3 patients) or more (5 patients) eyemuscles. Two of the 8 patients had bilaterally enlarged eyemuscles, one of which was the patient with positive TSI. The remaining 6 patients had unilateral extraocular muscle enlargement. Thus, 2 of 9 patients had ophthalmopathy without thyroid dysfunction so-called isolated autoimmune ophthalmopathy or Graves' ophthalmopathy.

Thyroid function tests seem to be of limited value in the diagnosis between endocrine and non-endocrine eye disease, and we recommend the use of diagnostic imaging (e.g. CT-scan) in patients with unilateral exophthalmus in order to diagnose malignant processes.

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Lene Lavard, Ida Ranløv, Hans Perrild, Ole Andersen and Bendt Brock Jacobsen

Lavard L, Ranlov I, Perrild H, Andersen O, Jacobsen BB. Incidence of juvenile thyrotoxicosis in Denmark, 1982-1988. A nationwide study. Eur J Endocrinol 1994;130:565–8. ISSN 0804–4643

The objective of this study was to ascertain the annual incidence density of thyrotoxicosis in children under the age of 15 years in Denmark in 1982–1988. The design was based on computerized hospital registration of patient admittances in all departments of paediatrics and internal medicine of Denmark (Faroe Islands and Greenland excluded). Fifty-six children (48 girls and 8 boys) had a confirmed diagnosis of thyrotoxicosis, giving a national incidence density of 0.79/100 000 person-years. In children aged 0–4 years the incidence was very low (0.1/100 000), with no sex difference. In boys aged 5–9 years a similar low incidence was found, while in boys aged 10–14 years the incidence increased to 0.48/100 000. In girls aged 5–9 years the incidence increased to 0.96/100 000, reaching a maximum of 3.01 in the 10–14-year-old girls. In children of > 4 years of age a female preponderance of 6.7:1 was significant. It is concluded that thyrotoxicosis is a rare disorder in Danish children under the age of 15 years, and the incidence increases with age. Female preponderance is significant from early childhood.

Lene Lavard, Department of Paediatrics, Hvidovre University Hospital, DK-2650 Hvidovre, Denmark

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Inge Bülow Pedersen, Peter Laurberg, Nils Knudsen, Torben Jørgensen, Hans Perrild, Lars Ovesen and Lone Banke Rasmussen

Background: Thyroid autoimmunity is more common in females than in males. One possible explanation for this female preponderance may be the effect of oestrogens on the immune system. It has also been suggested that foetal microchimerism involving transfer of foetal cells into maternal tissue during pregnancy may play an important role.

Objective: We investigated the association between the presence of circulating thyroid autoantibodies and previous pregnancy, parity and the use of oral contraceptives (OCs) and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in a population cohort.

Methods: We examined 3712 women randomly selected from the general population. Serum was analysed for thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO-Ab) and thyroglobulin antibody (Tg-Ab) using assays based on an RIA technique (DYNO test). Data were analysed in logistic regression models to adjust for possible confounders. Women previously treated for thyroid disease or with pregnancy within 1 year prior to the study were excluded from the analyses.

Results: In both univariate and multivariate models and whether the presence of TPO-Ab and Tg-Ab was investigated alone or in combination, findings were negative with respect to an association between circulating thyroid antibodies and previous pregnancy, number of pregnancies, parity and previous abortion. There was no association between thyroid autoantibodies and use of OCs. Women aged 60–65 years receiving HRT now or previously had a lower prevalence of Tg-Ab (univariate, P = 0.01; multivariate, P = 0.02). No such association was observed between HRT and TPO-Ab.

Conclusion: In this population study there was no association between previous pregnancy, parity and thyroid antibodies, which argues against the role of microchimerism as a trigger of thyroid autoimmunity. Exogenous oestrogens may reduce aspects of autoimmunity.

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Charlotte Cerqueira, Nils Knudsen, Lars Ovesen, Peter Laurberg, Hans Perrild, Lone B Rasmussen and Torben Jørgensen


Iodization of salt was introduced in Denmark in 1998 because of mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency (ID). The aim of this study was to analyze the utilization rate of surgery and radioiodine therapy for benign thyroid disorders before and after the introduction of iodization, and to study a possible association between the changes and the raised iodine intake.


A nationwide register study.


Information on operations and radioiodine treatments for benign thyroid disorders was extracted from nationwide registers in the years 1990 to 2007. Treatment rates are presented for surgery and for radioiodine separately, and as a combined rate, both nationwide and split by the regions of prior mild and moderate ID.


A total of 65 605 treatments were identified: 26 456 operations and 39 149 radioiodine treatments. In the first years of iodization (1998–2000; rate ratio 2000/1997), the combined treatment rate increased with 2.5% (95% confidence interval (CI): −1.8–7.1). Split by prior ID level, the increase was seen in the region of moderate ID, but a decrease was seen in the region of mild ID. After 2000, the combined rate decreased, and ended up being 11.1% (95% CI: 7.1–15.0) lower in 2007 than before iodization (rate ratio 2007/1997). The changes were primarily due to changes in the use of radioiodine therapy as the surgery rates remained almost constant.


Iodization seemed to be associated with a temporary increase in the utilization rate of surgery and radioiodine therapy in the region of prior moderate ID, probably as a result of treatment of iodine-induced hyperthyroidism, but the rates ended up being lower than before iodization.