open access

Vol 72, No 5 (2021)
Original paper
Submitted: 2021-06-08
Accepted: 2021-06-14
Published online: 2021-08-04
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The impact of levothyroxine on thyroid autoimmunity and hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis activity in men with autoimmune hypothyroidism and early-onset androgenetic alopecia

Robert Krysiak1, Karolina Kowalcze2, Bogdan Marek34, Bogusław Okopień1
DOI: 10.5603/EP.a2021.0071
·
Pubmed: 34378784
·
Endokrynologia Polska 2021;72(5):498-504.
Affiliations
  1. Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
  2. Department of Paediatrics in Bytom, School of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
  3. Division of Pathophysiology, Department of Pathophysiology and Endocrinology, Medical University of Silesia, Zabrze, Poland
  4. Endocrinological Ward, Third Provincial Hospital, Rybnik, Poland

open access

Vol 72, No 5 (2021)
Original Paper
Submitted: 2021-06-08
Accepted: 2021-06-14
Published online: 2021-08-04

Abstract

Introduction: Administration of testosterone or dehydroepiandrosterone to subjects with low levels of these hormones was found to reduce thyroid antibody titres. Male-pattern baldness is accompanied by mildly increased androgen levels. The present study was aimed at investigating whether early-onset androgenetic alopecia determines the impact of exogenous levothyroxine on thyroid autoimmunity and hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis activity in young men with autoimmune hypothyroidism.

Material and methods: The study included 2 thyroid-antibody-matched groups of men with autoimmune hypothyroidism: subjects with early-onset androgenetic alopecia (group 1; n = 24) and subjects with no evidence of hair loss (group 2; n = 24). All patients were treated with exogenous levothyroxine. Circulating titres of thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies, as well as levels of thyrotropin, free thyroxine, free triiodothyronine, prolactin, total testosterone, calculated bioavailable testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate, and oestradiol were measured before levothyroxine treatment and 6 months later.

Results: In both study groups, levothyroxine decreased thyroid antibody titres, reduced thyrotropin levels and increased free thyroid hormone levels. However, these effects were less pronounced in the men with early-onset male-pattern baldness than in the control men. The degree of reduction in antibody titres and thyrotropin levels correlated with baseline levels of total and calculated bioavailable testosterone, as well with baseline insulin sensitivity and treatment-induced improvement in insulin sensitivity. Concentrations of the remaining variables remained unchanged throughout the study period.

Conclusions: The results of the current study suggest that the benefits of levothyroxine therapy in men with autoimmune hypothyroidism are less pronounced in individuals with early-onset androgenetic alopecia.

Abstract

Introduction: Administration of testosterone or dehydroepiandrosterone to subjects with low levels of these hormones was found to reduce thyroid antibody titres. Male-pattern baldness is accompanied by mildly increased androgen levels. The present study was aimed at investigating whether early-onset androgenetic alopecia determines the impact of exogenous levothyroxine on thyroid autoimmunity and hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis activity in young men with autoimmune hypothyroidism.

Material and methods: The study included 2 thyroid-antibody-matched groups of men with autoimmune hypothyroidism: subjects with early-onset androgenetic alopecia (group 1; n = 24) and subjects with no evidence of hair loss (group 2; n = 24). All patients were treated with exogenous levothyroxine. Circulating titres of thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies, as well as levels of thyrotropin, free thyroxine, free triiodothyronine, prolactin, total testosterone, calculated bioavailable testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate, and oestradiol were measured before levothyroxine treatment and 6 months later.

Results: In both study groups, levothyroxine decreased thyroid antibody titres, reduced thyrotropin levels and increased free thyroid hormone levels. However, these effects were less pronounced in the men with early-onset male-pattern baldness than in the control men. The degree of reduction in antibody titres and thyrotropin levels correlated with baseline levels of total and calculated bioavailable testosterone, as well with baseline insulin sensitivity and treatment-induced improvement in insulin sensitivity. Concentrations of the remaining variables remained unchanged throughout the study period.

Conclusions: The results of the current study suggest that the benefits of levothyroxine therapy in men with autoimmune hypothyroidism are less pronounced in individuals with early-onset androgenetic alopecia.

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Keywords

androgenetic alopecia; hormones; hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis; levothyroxine; thyroid autoimmunity

About this article
Title

The impact of levothyroxine on thyroid autoimmunity and hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis activity in men with autoimmune hypothyroidism and early-onset androgenetic alopecia

Journal

Endokrynologia Polska

Issue

Vol 72, No 5 (2021)

Article type

Original paper

Pages

498-504

Published online

2021-08-04

DOI

10.5603/EP.a2021.0071

Pubmed

34378784

Bibliographic record

Endokrynologia Polska 2021;72(5):498-504.

Keywords

androgenetic alopecia
hormones
hypothalamic–pituitary–thyroid axis
levothyroxine
thyroid autoimmunity

Authors

Robert Krysiak
Karolina Kowalcze
Bogdan Marek
Bogusław Okopień

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