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      Incidence of Dysthyroidism during Interferon Therapy in Chronic Hepatitis C

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          Seventy-nine patients (40 males, 39 females) were enrolled in a prospective study of lymphoblastoid interferon-α (IFN), 3-5 MU three times weekly. They were randomly assigned to receive either 12 months of IFN therapy, or to 6 months of observation followed by 6 months of IFN therapy. The thyroid functional and immunological status was checked every other month during and after treatment. Before treatment, antithyroid antibodies were found in 6 patients (7.5%). Two were hypothyroid and were excluded from the study before starting IFN therapy. Seventy-seven patients received IFN therapy. Of these, thyroid abnormalities appeared in 6 (7.5%). Hyperthyroidism was observed in 3 patients. Two recovered within a few months, but 1 developed subsequent hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism was observed in 2 patients. TSH blood values were persistently abnormal, but thyroid antibody levels remained increased and fluctuating. Thyroid function usually recovered within a few months; but 2 patients required hormonal therapy and 1 was treated with carbimazole. In 1 patient, a small thyroid papillary carcinoma was observed, but no evidence of relationship with the liver disease or with IFN therapy was found. In a patient with chronic hepatitis C, systematic thyroid assessment should be performed before initiating IFN therapy, including clinical examination, and measurement of TSH and anti-thyroperoxidase antibodies (TPO Ab). During treatment, a TSH assay every other month appears to be necessary and sufficient.

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          Author and article information

          Horm Res Paediatr
          Hormone Research in Paediatrics
          S. Karger AG
          10 December 2008
          : 48
          : 5
          : 209-214
          Departments of aNuclear Medicine (Prof. B. Bok), and bHepatology (Prof. S. Erlinger), Hôpital Beaujon, Clichy, France
          185517 Horm Res 1997;48:209–214
          © 1997 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Pages: 6
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