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Preconception management of hyperthyroidism and thyroid status in subsequent pregnancy: a population-based cohort study

Minassian, Caroline, Allen, Lowri A., Okosieme, Onyebuchi, Vaidya, Bijay and Taylor, Peter ORCID: 2023. Preconception management of hyperthyroidism and thyroid status in subsequent pregnancy: a population-based cohort study. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 108 (11) , pp. 2886-2897. 10.1210/clinem/dgad276

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Context Optimal thyroid status in pregnancy is essential in reducing the risk of adverse outcomes. The management of hyperthyroidism in women of reproductive age poses unique challenges and it is unclear how preconception treatment strategies impact on thyroid status in subsequent pregnancy. Objective We aimed to determine trends in the management of hyperthyroidism before and during pregnancy and to assess the impact of different preconception treatment strategies on maternal thyroid status. Methods We utilized the Clinical Practice Research Datalink database to evaluate all females aged 15-45 years with a clinical diagnosis of hyperthyroidism and a subsequent pregnancy (January 2000 to December 2017). We compared thyroid status in pregnancy according to preconception treatment, namely, (1) antithyroid drugs up to or beyond pregnancy onset, (2) definitive treatment with thyroidectomy or radioiodine before pregnancy, and (3) no treatment at pregnancy onset. Results Our study cohort comprised 4712 pregnancies. Thyrotropin (TSH) was measured in only 53.1% of pregnancies, of which 28.1% showed suboptimal thyroid status (TSH >4.0 mU/L or TSH <0.1 mU/L plus FT4 >reference range). Pregnancies with prior definitive treatment were more likely to have suboptimal thyroid status compared with pregnancies starting during antithyroid drug treatment (odds ratio 4.72, 95% CI 3.50-6.36). A steady decline in the use of definitive treatment before pregnancy was observed from 2000 to 2017. One-third (32.6%) of first trimester carbimazole-exposed pregnancies were switched to propylthiouracil while 6.0% of propylthiouracil-exposed pregnancies switched to carbimazole. Conclusion The management of women with hyperthyroidism who become pregnant is suboptimal, particularly in those with preconception definitive treatment, and needs urgent improvement. Better thyroid monitoring and prenatal counseling are needed to optimize thyroid status, reduce teratogenic drug exposure, and ultimately reduce the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0021-972X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 July 2023
Date of Acceptance: 2 June 2023
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2023 13:31

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