A 2015 Italian Survey of Clinical Practice Patterns in the Management of Graves' Disease: Comparison with European and North American Surveys

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Abstract

Background:

Patients suffering from Graves' disease (GD) are quite frequent in endocrine clinical practice. In particular, overt hyperthyroidism may be complicated by serious adverse events and requires careful treatment, but its management has changed over the years in both the USA and European Union (EU).

Objectives:

To evaluate the current diagnosis and management of patient's with GD in Italy, and compare results with those obtained in previous similar surveys in the USA and EU.

Methods:

Members of the Italian Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AME) were asked to participate in a Web-based survey on management of GD.

Results:

In total, 947 responses were obtained. The preferred diagnostic modality in Italy is TSH receptor antibody determination in conjunction with ultrasound, while radioactive iodine uptake/scan is preferred in the USA. Methimazole (MMI) 20-30 mg/day with a β-blocker is the initial treatment of choice in Italy and the EU, whereas the USA opts more frequently for radioactive therapy. If Graves' orbitopathy occurs, orbit CT/MRI scans are more often obtained in Italy and the EU than in the USA. In case of planned pregnancy in 6-12 months, surgery is more frequently suggested in Italy than in the EU and USA. Propylthiouracil is generally preferred to MMI in the first trimester.

Conclusions:

Italian endocrinologists have shown significantly different patterns in diagnosis and management of GD compared to both the USA and EU.

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