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Remission Rates with Antithyroid Drug Therapy: Continuing Influence of Iodine Intake?

BARBARA L. SOLOMON, DNSc.; JUDY E. EVAUL, M.S.P.H.; KENNETH D. BURMAN, M.D., COL, M.C.; and LEONARD WARTOFSKY, M.D., COL, M.C.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: in part by the Department of Clinical Investigation, Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Army of the Department of Defense.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Barbara Solomon, DNSc., Department of Clinical Investigation, Endocrine-Metabolic Service, 7D, Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Washington, DC 20307-5001.


Washington, D.C.; and Bethesda, Maryland


Ann Intern Med. 1987;107(4):510-512. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-107-4-510
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We retrospectively reviewed the therapeutic efficacy of antithyroid drugs for Graves disease. Sixty-nine patients were divided into three categories according to their response: 28 (40.6%) were unable to achieve a remission; 6 (8.7%) achieved a remission and subsequently had a relapse; and 35 (50.7%) were able to sustain a remission. The mean duration for sustained remissions was 33 months. Our earlier review of outcome of antithyroid therapy showed markedly reduced remission rates, which appeared to be related to increases in dietary iodine intake. Although the greater percentage of patients entering remission today is in marked contrast to the 1973 report, average dietary iodine content has been decreasing. A continuing role for antithyroid drugs should be maintained as an option in the management of Graves disease. Daily dietary iodine intake may influence the anticipated remission rate after antithyroid drug therapy.

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