Goiter size and thyroid function in an endemic goiter area in Northern Italy

E. Roti, E. Gardini, L. D'Amato, M. Salvi, G. Robuschi, A. Manfredi, G. Dallara, S. Pino, A. M. Guazzi, A. Gnudi

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Thyroid function was studied in a large number of subjects residing in Varsi, a town in the province of Parma, Italy. In this area, endemic goiter associated with moderate iodine deficiency [59 ± 3 (±SE) μg iodine/g creatinine], as defined by WHO criteria, affects 65% of the population. Serum T4, T3, thyroglobulin (Tg), and TSH concentrations were measured by RIA in 1218 subjects. The TSH response to TRH was determined in 108 subjects selected randomly from the groups with different grades of goiter. No significant change in serum T4 concentrations was found in subjects with different grades of goiter. Serum T3 concentrations were higher in subjects with the larger goiters. Serum Tg concentration progressively increased, and serum TSH progressively decreased with increasing goiter size. The TSH response to TRH was diminished in subjects with larger goiters. The findings of decreasing serum TSH concentrations and blunted TSH responses to TRH as goiter size increased suggest the possiblity of autonomous thyroid function in the larger goiters in subjects residing in this area of moderate iodine deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-563
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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