Thyroid withdrawal in preparation for radioiodine ablation (RIA) may have a profound impact on health-related quality of life (HRQL). Cost implications and scheduling limit the use of recombinant TSH and triiodothyronine (T3) with its shorter half-life is a conceptually attractive alternative.
Prospective cohort study design with patients having withdrawal of thyroxine (n = 37) or T3 supplementation (n = 33). HRQL was assessed using EORTC QLQ-C30, QLQ-H&N35 and modified Billewicz questionnaires. Time interval to achieve optimal TSH levels (at least 30 mIU/ml) prior to RIA was determined.
With the exception of emotional domain (QLQ-C30 p = 0.045), LT3 supplementation did not confer significant benefit when compared to LT4 withdrawal. Target serum TSH levels was achieved in 95% of patients by week 4 post thyroidectomy.
LT3 supplementation delivered equivocal benefit and therefore the alternate strategies to minimize the impact on HRQL of reduction in the duration of hypothyroidism in T4 withdrawal are suggested.