Endocrine Abstracts (2011) 26 P378

Selenium treatment in chronic autoimmune thyroid diseases

I Z Kun, Zs Szanto & I Kun


University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Targu Mures, Romania.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of selenium on autoimmune thyroid diseases through ATPO-titers.

Material and methods: Selenium (0.1–0.2 mg/day) was associated to basic treatment of thyroid dysfunctions in 21 female patients with high ATPO-levels (normal<34 U/ml). We followed the thyroid function and ATPO-values usually after 2–6 months of selenium administration.

Results: Ten hypo-thyroid patients had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, 6 were diagnosed with Hashitoxicosis and 3 with active Graves’ disease, while two female patients were euthyroid without any treatment. Initial ATPO-levels were between 185 and 2090 U/ml with mean value of 802 U/ml, in the majority (15 cases) being 10-times above the upper normal limit. Eleven patients received firstly L-T4 or antithyroid therapy and selenium was associated later (first group), in other ten cases basic thyroid treatment and selenium were combined from the beginning (second group). In the first group initial mean ATPO-value was 942 U/ml, during efficient basic therapy decreased to 808 U/ml, but individual ATPO-levels decreased only in five cases (from mean of 1166 to 634 U/ml), in the other six patients increased considerably (from mean of 756 to 1060 U/ml); differently, selenium treatment during 2–6 months reduced mean ATPO-value to 237 U/ml, without increase in any patient. In the second group mean ATPO was 578 U/ml before treatment, and the combined therapy applied for relatively short period (1–4 months) reduced it gradually to 296 U/ml. We observed considerable individual differences in the response to selenium treatment. It seems that the effect of selenium was stronger in patients having very high initial ATPO-levels compared to those with moderately increased titers. The response was also influenced by the duration of selenium administration.

Conclusion: In autoimmune thyroid diseases with or without hypo-/hyperthyroidism, selenium in about 0.1 mg/day dose reduces substantially the high ATPO-levels and may slow the evolution of autoimmune thyroid processes.

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