Levothyroxine treatment in pediatric benign thyroid nodules

Andrea Corrias, Alessandro Mussa, Malgorzata Wasniewska, Maria Segni, Alessandra Cassio, Mariacarolina Salerno, Roberto Gastaldi, Maria Cristina Vigone, Milva Bal, Patrizia Matarazzo, Giovanna Weber, Filippo De Luca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of levothyroxine therapy in benign thyroid nodules in pediatrics. Methods: Data from 78 euthyroid children and adolescents with benign thyroid nodules were retrospectively collected. Subjects were divided into 2 groups: levothyroxine treated (n = 36) and nontreated (n = 42), and the clinical, laboratory and sonographic features of the 2 groups were compared. Nodules were considered benign according to histology, fine-needle aspiration biopsy or by features suggestive for benignity. The groups were followed up for 2.4 ± 1.3 years, and treated patients received a mean dose of levothyroxine of 1.69 ± 0.66 μg/kg/day. Results: Patients in the treated and nontreated groups were comparable for age, sex and follow-up. A reduction in nodule diameter from 2.24 ± 0.94 to 1.86 ± 1.17 cm (p = 0.039) was observed in treated patients, whereas the nodule diameter increased from 1.66 ± 0.86 to 1.78 ± 0.91 cm in nontreated patients (p = 0.024). In the treatment group, 11 patients (30.6%) had a reduction greater than 50% and significantly decreased palpable nodules (p <0.001). A nonsignificant reduction in reported symptoms was observed, too. The change in nodule size was directly correlated with thyroid-stimulating hormone levels (r = 0.640, p <0.001) and inversely with levothyroxine dose (r = -0.389, p = 0.009). In nontreated subjects, both palpable nodules and symptoms increased. Conclusion: This study supports levothyroxine treatment effectiveness in shrinking benign nodules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-251
Number of pages6
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Childhood nodule
  • L-T4 treatment
  • Levothyroxine treatment
  • Suppressive therapy
  • Thyroid nodule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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