Thyroid hormones treatment for subclinical hypothyroidism: a clinical practice guideline.

Bekkering, G E; Agoritsas, T; Lytvyn, L; Heen, A F; Feller, Martin; Moutzouri, Elisavet; Abdulazeem, H; Aertgeerts, B; Beecher, D; Brito, J P; Farhoumand, P D; Singh Ospina, N; Rodondi, Nicolas; van Driel, M; Wallace, E; Snel, M; Okwen, P M; Siemieniuk, R; Vandvik, P O; Kuijpers, T; ... (2019). Thyroid hormones treatment for subclinical hypothyroidism: a clinical practice guideline. BMJ, 365, l2006. BMJ Publishing Group 10.1136/bmj.l2006

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CLINICAL QUESTION What are the benefits and harms of thyroid hormones for adults with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH)? This guideline was triggered by a recent systematic review of randomised controlled trials, which could alter practice. CURRENT PRACTICE Current guidelines tend to recommend thyroid hormones for adults with thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels >10 mIU/L and for people with lower TSH values who are young, symptomatic, or have specific indications for prescribing. RECOMMENDATION The guideline panel issues a strong recommendation against thyroid hormones in adults with SCH (elevated TSH levels and normal free T4 (thyroxine) levels). It does not apply to women who are trying to become pregnant or patients with TSH >20 mIU/L. It may not apply to patients with severe symptoms or young adults (such as those ≤30 years old). HOW THIS GUIDELINE WAS CREATED A guideline panel including patients, clinicians, and methodologists produced this recommendation in adherence with standards for trustworthy guidelines using the GRADE approach. THE EVIDENCE The systematic review included 21 trials with 2192 participants. For adults with SCH, thyroid hormones consistently demonstrate no clinically relevant benefits for quality of life or thyroid related symptoms, including depressive symptoms, fatigue, and body mass index (moderate to high quality evidence). Thyroid hormones may have little or no effect on cardiovascular events or mortality (low quality evidence), but harms were measured in only one trial with few events at two years' follow-up. UNDERSTANDING THE RECOMMENDATION The panel concluded that almost all adults with SCH would not benefit from treatment with thyroid hormones. Other factors in the strong recommendation include the burden of lifelong management and uncertainty on potential harms. Instead, clinicians should monitor the progression or resolution of the thyroid dysfunction in these adults. Recommendations are made actionable for clinicians and their patients through visual overviews. These provide the relative and absolute benefits and harms of thyroid hormones in multilayered evidence summaries and decision aids available in MAGIC (https://app.magicapp.org/) to support shared decisions and adaptation of this guideline.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of General Internal Medicine (DAIM) > Clinic of General Internal Medicine > Centre of Competence for General Internal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of General Practice and Primary Care (BIHAM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of General Internal Medicine (DAIM) > Clinic of General Internal Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Feller, Martin; Moutzouri, Elisavet and Rodondi, Nicolas

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

1756-1833

Publisher:

BMJ Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Christine Baumgartner

Date Deposited:

21 May 2019 15:54

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 21:40

Publisher DOI:

10.1136/bmj.l2006

PubMed ID:

31088853

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.130771

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/130771

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