Sonographic Features of Cervical Lymph Nodes in Patients With Hashimoto Thyroiditis and the Impacts From the Levothyroxine With Prednisone Therapy

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Abstract

Objective

This study aimed to evaluate the ultrasonographic pattern of cervical lymph nodes (CLNs) and whether levothyroxine with prednisone therapy is effective for lymphadenopathy in patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT).

Methods

This retrospective study was looking at patients with confirmed diagnosis of HT who underwent comprehensive neck ultrasound examination. We reviewed sonographic findings in 127 patients with HT, 234 euthyroid patients with goiter, and 122 healthy subjects. In addition, 30 untreated HT patients with cervical lymphadenopathy were recruited for the levothyroxine with prednisone therapy. We rescanned the patients 9 months after treatment with levothyroxine and prednisone.

Results

Patients with HT had a higher rate of CLN detection on ultrasound than euthyroid patients with goiter and healthy subjects at cervical levels III, IV, and VI (P < 0.01). In addition, patients with HT had a higher rate of detection of CLNs with abnormal sonographic features than the other 2 groups, most notably at cervical levels III, IV, and VI (P < 0.01). After the treatment, the mean thyroid volume, thyroid nodule volume, CLN volume, symptom score, and cosmetic grade of 30 HT patients were remarkably decreased (P < 0.01 or P < 0.001).

Conclusions

Hashimoto thyroiditis seems to be associated with an increased rate of detection of CLNs with abnormal sonographic features, particularly at cervical levels III, IV, and VI. Therapy with levothyroxine with prednisone is effective for cervical lymphadenopathy in patients with HT.

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