Clotilde Saïe a , * , Cécile Ghander a , Samir Saheb b , Christel Jublanc c , Denis Lemesle d , Charlotte Lussey-Lepoutre e , Laurence Leenhardt a , Fabrice Menegaux f , Christophe Tresallet g , Camille Buffet a
28 April 2020
Introduction: Hyperthyroid patients who are unresponsive to medical treatment remain a challenging clinical problem. Objective: The goal of our study was to evaluate the use of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) in hyperthyroid patients and their outcome after TPE. Method: We retrospectively reviewed 22 patients who underwent TPE for refractory thyrotoxicosis in our institution: 13 with Graves’ disease, 7 with amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis (AIT), 1 with toxic goiter, and 1 pregnant patient with familial nonautoimmune thyrotoxicosis. Results: Before TPE, all patients had severe hyperthyroidism, and antithyroid drugs were either contraindicated or not sufficiently effective to restore euthyroidism promptly. After all the TPEs, free T<sub>4</sub> (fT4) decreased significantly by 48% ( p = 0.001) and fT3 by 52% ( p = 0.0001). The median number of TPE sessions per patient was 4 (range: 1–10). There were no complications during the 91 TPE sessions. Total thyroidectomy with no severe side effects was performed on 16/22 patients and 1 other patient was treated with radioactive iodine. One patient died from severe thyrotoxicosis during medical care. The remaining 4 patients were followed up without any radical treatment. For all 7 patients with AIT, iterative TPE led to a significant clinical improvement, and amiodarone was continued for 1 patient. Available treatments were continued between TPE sessions (cholestyramine for 13 patients [60%] and glucocorticoids for 16 patients [73%]). Conclusion: TPE allowed a safe decrease of 50% in thyroid hormone levels, and it should be considered for refractory hyperthyroid patients when medical treatments are contraindicated or have failed to restore euthyroidism, irrespective of the etiology of the thyrotoxicosis.