Thyrotoxicosis – investigation and management
Graves’ disease (GD) and toxic nodular (TN) goitre account for most cases of thyrotoxicosis associated with hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is confirmed with measurement of a suppressed serum thyrotropin concentration (TSH) and elevated free thyroid hormones. The three therapeutic options are antithyroid drugs, radioactive iodine and surgery. Thionamides achieve long-term remission in 35% of cases. Many centres administer fixed doses of iodine-131; larger doses result in improved rates of cure at the cost of hypothyroidism. Surgery is usually considered for patients who have a large goitre, compressive symptoms or significant ophthalmopathy.