Journal of Korean Endocrine Society 1997;12(4):621-626.
Published online January 1, 2001.
Four Cases of Newly Developing Goiter During Lithium Carbonate Therapy.
Kwan Woo Lee, Young Goo Shin, Sung Keun Lee, Sung Kyu Lee, Yun Suk Chung, Hyun Man Kim
Since 1949, lithium has been widely used for treatment of manic depressive disorder. It has also been used for agranulocytosis after anticaneer chemotherapy and partially for hyperthyroidism. But it is well known that the long term administration of this drug is associated wih various antithyroid effects such as hypothyroidism, simple goiter, nodules and even thyrotoxicosis. Although the exact mechanism for leading hypothyroidism or goiter is still unknown, the incidence of lithium-induced hypothyroidism is 1-37% during lithium atment. We had an experience of newly developing goiter with or without hypothyroidism during lithium treatment in 4 MDP patients. Among our patients, the duration of lithium administration was from 0.7 months to 11 years, and the development of thyroid abnormality was impossible to predict. They were treated with thyroxine while lithium was discontinued causing favorable outcome. We suggest that routine thyroid function test include thyroid autoimmune antibody screening in patients planning to undergo lithium treatment.
Key Words: Lithium, Hypothyroidism, Goiter

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