Vol 72, No 2 (2021)
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Published online: 2021-01-21

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Low incidence of focal lesions in the thyroid glands of patients with hereditary haemochromatosis — a single-centre study from Poland

Katarzyna J. Banaszkiewicz1, Katarzyna Sikorska12, Damian Panas3, Łukasz Obołończyk4, Krzysztof Sworczak4
Pubmed: 33619709
Endokrynol Pol 2021;72(2):126-132.


Introduction: Hereditary haemochromatosis (HH) is a disease characterised by the excessive absorption of iron and its deposition in various organs. Late complications of this disease include cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and endocrine disorders. Data from the literature on thyroid disorders in patients with HH are inconsistent and ambiguous, and no research has been done to determine the relationship between excessive accumulation of iron and the thyroid morphology. Therefore, the aim of this study was to characterise thyroid function and ultrasound images in patients with clinically overt hereditary haemochromatosis.

Material and methods: We studied 40 patients who were diagnosed with hereditary haemochromatosis with one of the mutations of the HFE gene and iron deposits in liver in specimen from liver biopsies (graded G2 to G4) or in MRI. To assess thyroid function, ultrasound examinations of the thyroid gland were performed and serum TSH concentrations were measured.

Results: We showed in our study that patients with HH have been diagnosed with thyroid focal lesions statistically less frequent than in the control group. We did not reveal any statistically significant difference in TSH concentration between patients with HH and the general population. However, patients with more severe iron deposits in liver showed lower TSH concentration.

Conclusions: Our results indicate lower incidence of focal lesions in thyroid gland in a group of patients with clinically overt hereditary haemochromatosis. 

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