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Hyperthyroidism: Diagnosis and Treatment - Article
ABSTRACT: The proper treatment of hyperthyroidism depends on recognition of the signs and symptoms of the disease and determination of the etiology. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves' disease. Other common causes include thyroiditis, toxic multinodular goiter, toxic adenomas, and side effects of certain medications. The diagnostic workup begins with a thyroid-stimulating hormone level test. When test results are uncertain, measuring radionuclide uptake helps distinguish among possible causes. When thyroiditis is the cause, symptomatic treatment usually is sufficient because the associated hyperthyroidism is transient. Graves' disease, toxic multinodular goiter, and toxic adenoma can be treated with radioactive iodine, antithyroid drugs, or surgery, but in the United States, radioactive iodine is the treatment of choice in patients without contraindications. Thyroidectomy is an option when other treatments fail or are contraindicated, or when a goiter is causing compressive symptoms. Some new therapies are under investigation. Special treatment consideration must be given to patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as those with Graves' ophthalmopathy or amiodarone-induced hyperthyroidism. Patients' desires must be considered when deciding on appropriate therapy, and dose monitoring is essential.
Hyperthyroidism - Clinical Evidence Handbook