Author(s): Biondi B, Biondi B
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Abstract Subclinical thyroid dysfunction (STD) represents a condition of slight thyroid hormone excess or deficiency, which may be associated with important adverse effects. This review will focus on the natural history, diagnosis and management of subclinical thyroid dysfunction. Since STD is only detected as a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) abnormality, it is essential to exclude transient causes of abnormal serum TSH before treating this disorder. Treatment of subclinical hyperthyroidism (SHyper) is recommended in elderly patients with undetectable serum TSH for the increased risk of atrial fibrillation, osteoporosis and bone fractures and for the higher risk of progression to overt disease. Treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism should be considered in patients with serum TSH above 10 mU/L for the increased risk of progression to overt hypothyroidism and the increased risk of coronary heart disease and heart failure events, which have been documented in patients with TSH increase above 10 mU/L. About 75\% of patients with STD have mild dysfunction. The mild form of STD (low but detectable serum TSH in SHyper and mild increased serum TSH between 5 and 9 mU/L in SHypo is associated with a minor risk of disease progression to overt dysfunction. The best treatment for STD remains controversial. Treatment of the mild form of STD should be considered after evaluating the patients' age, the adverse risk factors, the potential beneficial effects of treating this disorder and any underlying co-morbidities. Mild SHypo should be treated in infertile and pregnant women. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology