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Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which an overactive thyroid gland is producing an excessive amount of thyroid hormones that circulate in the blood. Graves' disease, multinodular goiter (TMNG), inflammation of the thyroid gland (thyroiditis) and excessive iodine intake are the most common cause of hyperthyroidism.

Risk Factors

Signs and symptoms

Diagnostic criteria

Hyperthyroidism can be suspected in patients with
• Tremors
• Excessive sweating
• Smooth velvety skin
• Fine hair
• A rapid heart rate
• An enlarged thyroid gland frequent bowel movement


• Baseline complete blood count, including white count with differential, and a liver profile (bilirubin and transaminases)
• Differential white blood cell count should be obtained during febrile illness and at the onset of pharyngitis in all patients taking antithyroid medication. Routine monitoring of white blood counts is not recommended
• Test for THS and T4
• When thyrotoxicosis is confirmed, if cause is not known request thyroid uptake scan


Management of hyperthyroidism depends on the cause


Note: Management of hyperthyroidism depends on the cause

Toxic multinodular goitre or Thyroid antibody positive Patients with overtly Toxic multinodular goitre or Thyroid antibody are treated with either:

Radio iodine (131-I) therapy



Note: Long term, low-dose carbimazole should not be used for either conditions except in some elderly


• Patients with overt hyperthyroidism should be rendered euthyroid prior to the procedure with carbimazole pre-treatment (15–40 mg daily, divided into 2–3 doses a day for 4–8 weeks then a maintenance dose of 5–15 mg, taken once daily) with or without beta–adrenergic blockade (e.g. propranolol 1—40mg 6hourly). Preoperative iodine should not be used in this setting.
• Following thyroidectomy for Toxic multinodular goitre, it is suggested that serum calcium or intact parathyroid hormone levels be measured, and that calcitriol and oral calcium supplementation (maximum 1,200mg of calcium per day in two divided doses) be administered based on these results.
• Following surgery for Toxic multinodular goitre, thyroid hormone replacement should be started at a dose appropriate for the patient’s weight (0.8 µg/lb or 1.7 µg/kg) and age, with elderly patients needing somewhat less. TSH should be measured every 1–2 months until stable, and then annually.


• Radioactive iodine therapy should be used for retreatment of persistent or recurrent hyperthyroidism following inadequate surgery for Toxic multinodular goitre or Thyroid antibody.

Refers to picture 1: Graves hyperthyroidism

Beta Blockers are used for excessive sympathetic symptoms.
• Atenolol (PO) 50–100mg daily

Factors which favour use of antithyroid medicines

• High likelihood of remission (patients, especially females, with mild disease, small goitres, and negative or low-titre TSH-receptor antibody)
• Elderly or others with comorbidities increasing surgical risk or with limited life expectancy or unable to follow radiation safety regulations
• Previously operated or irradiated necks
• Moderate to severe active Graves’ ophthalmopathy

Radioactive iodine

Potassium iodide (B) should be given in the immediate preoperative period as 5–7 drops (0.25–0.35 mL) Lugol’s solution (8 mg iodide/drop) or 1–2 drops (0.05–0.1 mL) saturated solution of potassium iodide (50 mg iodide/drop) three times daily mixed in water or juice for 10 days before surgery

Factors which favour use of radioiodine

• Individuals with comorbidities increasing surgical risk
• Patients with previously operated or externally irradiated necks
• Lack of access to a high-volume thyroid surgeon
• Contraindications to antithyroid medicnes use
• Females who are not pregnant and are not planning a pregnancy in the future (4–6 months) following radioiodine therapy


• Consider the following factors
• Symptomatic compression or large goitres
• Low uptake of radioactive iodine
• Thyroid malignancy is documented or suspected or large non-functioning nodule
• Coexisting hyperparathyroidism requiring surgery
• Females planning a pregnancy in <4–6 months
• Patients with moderate to severe active Graves’ ophthalmopathy
• If a patient with Grave’s disease becomes hyperthyroid after completing a course of carbimazole, consideration should be given to treatment with radioactive iodine or thyroidectomy.
• Low-dose carbimazole treatment for longer than 12–18 months may be considered in patients not in remission prefer this approach but evidence is that remission rate in adults is not improved by a course of medicines longer than 18 months
• Whenever possible, patients with Grave’s disease undergoing thyroidectomy should be rendered euthyroid with carbimazole.

  • Non-pharmacological

  • Pharmacological


Updated on,

26 Novemba 2020 11:20:37


1. STG

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