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Post-thyroidectomy chronic asthenia: self-deception or disease?”. Rosato L, Pacini F, Panier Suffat L, Mondini G, Ginardi A, Maggio M, Bosco MC, Della Pepa C. ENDOCRINE, 2014 Jul 18.
There is clinical evidence that post-total thyroidectomy (TT) patients can present persistent asthenia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of asthenia symptoms in such patients, assess whether a chronic asthenia syndrome could be caused by TT or become evident after it. An observational study was carried out comparing two groups of 100 patients each, all with homogeneous characteristics. Group A was treated with total lobectomy (TL), Group B with TT. All patients presented normal thyroid hormone levels. The patients were interviewed in order to identify the ones affected by post-operative asthenia persisting for at least six months, with reduced ability to perform physical and mental work, not showing improvement with rest. The severity of the symptoms has been measured by means of the brief fatigue inventory (BFI). Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate statistically significative differences between groups and prognostic factors in TT group. The incidence of post-operative asthenia was 0 % after TL and 25 % after TT, with the operation being the only significant variable. Asthenia is well known as symptom of post-thyroidectomy, but it has not been adequately investigated as consequence of surgery. We demonstrated that the complete removal of the thyroid gland could determine chronic post-thyroidectomy asthenia, although with intensity limited to low/moderate. Post-thyroidectomy asthenia is a relevant sequela interfering with quality of life of at least 25 % of patients operated, suggesting the need to identify its real causes and limit the indication to TT only when strictly required.

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