The outcome of Graves' disease after treatment with antithyroid drugs (ATDs) varies widely among countries, and large-scale studies in Asia are rare. We investigated the associations of various clinical and laboratory features with the outcome of ATD therapy for Graves' disease in Taiwan. A total of 210 patients (177 women, 33 men; mean ± SD age, 41.7 ± 15.1 yr) treated with ATD in Taiwan were included. ATD therapy started with methimazole 30 mg daily or propylthiouracil 300 mg daily and was continued until a euthyroid state was achieved. Afterwards, 154 patients received a maintenance dose of ATD alone, while 56 patients received a combination of an ATD and thyroxine (L-T4). Patients were considered to be in remission if they remained in a euthyroid state for more than 2 years after drug withdrawal. The mean follow-up periods were 45.0 ± 20.9 months for patients with remission and 30.4 ± 19.8 months for those with relapse. Relapse occurred in 126 (60%) patients during the follow-up period, within 3 months after drug withdrawal in 47 (37%), and within 6 months in 60 (46%). The relapse rate was 100% among patients with two or more previous relapses. Patients with a second occurrence had a higher relapse rate than those with a first occurrence (84% vs 43%). Past history of recurrence, goiter size, thyroid-stimulating hormone level and thyrotropin-binding inhibition immunoglobulin, activity at the end of ATD treatment were independently associated with relapse. Prolonged duration of treatment did not yield better results in patients with larger goiters or a history of recurrence, or both. Combination therapy with L-T4 yielded similar results to those achieved with ATD treatment alone. In conclusion, the relapse rate of Graves' disease after ATD treatment in Taiwanese patients was high, especially in those with a history of recurrence. The treatment duration and drug regimen did not affect the outcome.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of the Formosan Medical Association|
|Publication status||Published - 1998 Sep 1|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes