To prepare for radioactive iodine therapy in post total thyroidectomy patients with well-differentiated thyroid cancer (WDTC), either thyroid hormone withdrawal (THW) or administration of recombinant human thyrotropin (rhTSH) can be performed.
Our objective is to compare quality of life (QoL) parameters using the SF-36v2 questionnaire (Short Form health survey) and a self-evaluated item, and the hypothyroid status using modified Billewicz scores in an Asian population undergoing either THW or rhTSH for remnant ablation or adjuvant treatment following total thyroidectomy for WDTC. We will also assess the proportion of patients achieving TSH level of >30 mU/L after 4 weeks of thyroid hormone withdrawal.
Patients in the rhTSH group were better in the QoL domains of physical functioning, role functioning/physical and bodily pain, while patients in THW group were better in mental health. This was however, not statistically significant. Modified Billewicz scores were higher in patients in THW group as compared with rhTSH group and statistically significant. A total of 96.3% of patients achieved TSH level >30 mU/L after 4 weeks of THW.
Clinical symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism as assessed with modified Billewicz scores were statistically significantly higher in the THW group. However, there was no statistically significant difference in QoL in the rhTSH group.