Current Clinical Practice

Thyroid Hormone Replacement in Patients Following Thyroidectomy for Thyroid Cancer

Zeina C. Hannoush and Roy E. Weiss


Thyroid hormone replacement therapy in patients following thyroidectomy for thyroid cancer, although a potentially straightforward clinical problem, can present the clinician and patient with a variety of challenges. Most often the problems are related to the dose and preparation of thyroid hormone (TH) to use. Some patients feel less well following thyroidectomy and/or radioiodine ablation than they did before their diagnosis. We present evidence that levothyroxine (L-T4) is the preparation of choice, and keeping the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) between detectable and 0.1 mU/L should be the standard of care in most cases. In unusual circumstances, when the patient remains clinically hypothyroid despite a suppressed TSH, we acknowledge there may be as yet unidentified factors influencing the body’s response to TH, and individualized therapy may be necessary in such patients.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2016;7(1):e0002