[en] Aged ; Aged, 80 and over ; Amiodarone/adverse effects ; Female ; Humans ; Male ; Middle Aged ; Thyroidectomy ; Thyrotoxicosis/chemically induced/surgery
[en] Amiodarone-induced hyperthyroidism has on most instances been reported as mild, and thyroid functions return to normal after discontinuation of the drug. Nevertheless, life-threatening amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis has also been described. Conventional treatments such as antithyroid drugs (thionamide) and corticosteroids are essentially ineffective or fail to alter the dramatic course of the thyroid crisis. This limited effectiveness of medical therapy, particularly in patients with previously neglected or unknown thyroid disease, prompted us to intervene surgically. We report a series of nine patients who underwent total or near-total thyroidectomy as a first-line therapy for five of them. Surgery resulted in rapid resolution of thyrotoxicosis with an uneventful postoperative course. This approach has the advantage of immediate effectivity, low risk of relapse, and appears to be the only treatment that permits continued therapy with amiodarone when the drug appears needed to control a life-threatening arrhythmia.