Thyroid Hormone Supplementation Therapy for Differentiated Thyroid Cancer After Lobectomy: 5 Years of Follow-Up

Soo Young Kim, Hee Jun Kim, Seok Mo Kim, Hojin Chang, Yong Sang Lee, Hang Seok Chang, Cheong Soo Park

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Lobectomy with preservation of the contralateral lobe has already become the most preferred surgical method for patients with low-risk thyroid cancer. The incidence of and risk factors for the development of hypothyroidism after lobectomy for thyroid cancer remains unclear. The previous practice of levothyroxine supplementation post-thyroidectomy, to bring about thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) suppression, had some serious side effects. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence of hypothyroidism and to identify the factors associated with hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone replacement. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 256 consecutive patients with differentiated thyroid cancer treated with lobectomy at the Gangnam Severance Hospital between April and December 2014 who were followed-up for more than 5 years. Patients were evaluated using a thyroid function test at the time of outpatient visit every 6 months for the 1st year, with an annual follow-up thereafter. Results: After 5 years, 66.0% (169) of the patients needed levothyroxine supplementation to maintain euthyroid status. The incidence of hypothyroidism requiring levothyroxine supplementation increased until 3 years but showed no significant change in the 4 and 5th year. Recurrence showed no difference between the group with and without levothyroxine supplementation. The presence of thyroiditis and preoperative TSH levels were correlated with postoperative levothyroxine supplementation to maintain euthyroid status, in univariate and multivariate analyses. Conclusion: High preoperative TSH levels and/or thyroiditis indicate a significantly increased likelihood of developing hypothyroidism requiring thyroid hormone supplementation after a thyroid lobectomy. Patients with an increased risk of postoperative hypothyroidism must be aware of their risk factors and should undergo more intensive follow-ups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number520
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 31

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2020 Kim, Kim, Kim, Chang, Lee, Chang and Park.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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