Okamura K, Sato K, Ikenoue H, Nakagawa M, Kuroda T, Yoshinari M, Fujishima M. Primary hypothyroidism manifested in childhood with special reference to various types of reversible hypothyroidism. Eur J Endocrinol 1994;131:131–7. ISSN 0804–4643
The clinical courses of 15 patients with overt primary hypothyroidism manifested in childhood were studied. Nine female patients with goitrous hypothyroidism due to chronic thyroiditis showed almost normal height and became euthyroid spontaneously during iodine restriction. The other 6 non-goitrous patients (3M and 3F) (atrophic thyroiditis in 2, lingual goiter in 2 and probable hypoplastic thyroid in 2) showed physical growth retardation and remained irreversibly hypothyroid requiring replacement therapy. In the reversible group, the characteristic findings were high thyroidal radio-active iodine uptake (58 ± 19%/24 h, N = 8) and positive perchlorate discharge test. Serum non-hormonal iodine levels were high in 4 of 6 patients measured. During the long-term follow-up period of 6 years in 6 patients, 2 patients remained euthyroid with normal growth and regular menstrual cycle and 4 patients became hypothyroid again (after eating seaweed in 1, despite iodine restriction in 2 and after the episode of painless thyroiditis in 1). Transient retardation of growth was observed during the second episode of hypothyroidism. In the irreversible group, one patient with blocking type TSH binding inhibitor immunoglobulin (TBII) became thyrotoxic 4 years later with the decrease in activity of blocking type TBII. These results suggested that reversible recovery of the thyroid function could be expected in patients with juvenile hypothyroidism due to chronic thyroiditis after (1) iodine restriction, (2) improvement of immunological perturbation, or (3) disappearance of blocking type TBII. However, careful follow-up is necessary, because hypothyroidism would recur again with transient retardation of growth in children.
Ken Okamura, Second Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashiku, Fukuoka 812, Japan