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Anales de Medicina Interna

versión impresa ISSN 0212-7199


LAMATA HERNANDEZ, F. et al. Graves’ disease with associated thyroid nodules (nodular Graves’ disease): Clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic considerations. An. Med. Interna (Madrid) [online]. 2003, vol.20, n.8, pp.19-25. ISSN 0212-7199.

Background: Sometimes Graves´ disease (GD) can appear in association with thyroid nodules, which seems to increase the risk of carcinoma. In this article, we try to establish clinical characteristics, diagnostic means and appropriate treatment for Graves´ patients with co-existent nodules. Method: A retrospective study was made of 153 consecutive patients who underwent operation for GD between 1967 and 2000. Each patient was subject to a regular protocol including physical examination, diagnostic test, total or subtotal thyroidectomy and follow-up in the long term with the purpose of making a valuation of the postsurgical morbidity, evolution and relapses. Data were processed through computing in order to get the statistical information. Results: 28.1% of GD had thyroid nodules and carcinoma was diagnosed in four patients (9.3%), all of them belonging to papillary variety. Surgery consisted of 57 subtotal thyroidectomies (37.3%) and 94 total thyroidectomies. Parathyroid and recurrent morbidity was established in 4.6 and 3.9%, respectively, a year later since the operation, though it had a strong tendency to decrease from 1980. 96% of cases showed no relapse. Conclusions: Nodular GD is very common in our setting, especially in Graves´ patients with late beginning who wait for ages until they are undergone surgery. Initial treatment should be by means of braking therapy with antithyroid drugs and clinical, cytologic and ultrasonographic control. Surgery would be advised, from the outset or during the follow-up, in view of either any suspicion about cancer or presence of local growth. The procedure of choice is total thyroidectomy performed with low morbidity.

Palabras clave : Hyperthyroidism; Graves’ disease; Thyroid nodules; Thyroid carcinoma; Thyroidectomy.

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