Background: Optimal treatment of Graves' disease in paediatric patients is still a matter of controversy. Antithyroid drugs, radioiodine and thyroidectomy are the three therapeutic options available. Aim: To report our experience of long-term medical treatment and outcome of paediatric Graves' disease. Methods: A 5-y-long medical protocol was implemented in 20 children and adolescents with Graves' disease. All patients received antithyroid drugs as the first therapeutic option; patients who did not enter long-term remission received I 131 and/or surgery as the definitive treatment. Results: The mean age at diagnosis was 12.1±4 y. Only two patients were males, both presenting concomitant type 1 diabetes. Mean follow-up was 13.8±5.5 y. Forty per cent of patients achieved long-term remission with low antithyroid drugs doses (mean treatment time: 5.4±1.4 y). Six patients received I 131 as definitive treatment and another six underwent surgery after completing medical treatment for 6.8±4.1 and 5.1±2 y, respectively. No patients requiring high antithyroid drugs doses to maintain euthyroidism reached long-term remission and needed I 131 and/or surgery. Conclusion: Implementation of a long-term antithyroid drug protocol achieved 40% long-term remissions in paediatric patients with Graves' disease. Need for maintained high doses of antithyroid drugs could be considered a predictive factor for no remission. When permanent remission was not obtained by medical treatment, I 131 and/or surgery allowed healing in all cases.

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Acta Paediatrica: promoting child health
Department of Internal Medicine

Barrio, R., López-Capapé, M., Martinez-Badás, I., Carrillo, A., Moreno, J., & Alonso, M. (2005). Graves' disease in children and adolescents: Response to long-term treatment. Acta Paediatrica: promoting child health, 94(11), 1583–1589. doi:10.1080/08035250500252872