Ultrasonographic aspects in post-partum thyroiditis
M. Stanciu, F. Popa & I. Totoian
Introduction: Post-partum thyroiditis (PPT) is an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid gland, which occurs in the first year after parturition. Post-partum thyroiditis occurs in 50% of TPO AB+ve women and is characterised by transient hyperthyroidism followed by transient hypothyroidism during the first 6 months, post-partum. A third of the latter group develop permanent hypothyroidism. The aim of this study was to evaluate sonographic characteristics in a group of PPT patients in Sibiu county in 2 years (20092011).
Material and method: The study group consisted of 39 PPT patients and 40 normal post-partum women as the control group. Physical examination of thyroid, value of TSH, FT4, TPO and ultrasonography were carried out monthly in PPT patients until remission for up to 6 months post-partum.
Results: Visible goiter was detected in 19.1% of patients and 6.1% of the control group (P<0.001). Hypoechogenecity in thyroid sonography was present in 91.9% of patients and 6% of the control group (P<0.001). At 6 months after delivery, only four patients had abnormal thyroid function tests, while three patients with TSH >10 mU/l still showed hypoechogenicity in thyroid sonography. In conclusion, sonography may be recommended as an adjuvant to laboratory tests in evaluation of PPT patients.
Conclusion: Prolonged follow-up of the subsequent thyroid function and ultasonographyc characteristics may be needed in women who experience PPTD and/or show a high titre of antithyroid antibody.
Declaration of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research project.
Funding: This research did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.