Subclinical Hypothyroidism: Frequency, clinical presentations and treatment indications | Khan | Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences Old Website

Subclinical Hypothyroidism: Frequency, clinical presentations and treatment indications

Mubashir Alam Khan, Tasnim Ahsan, Urooj Lal Rehman, Rukhshanda Jabeen, Saad Farouq


Objective: To determine the frequency, modes of clinical presentation and indications for replacement therapy in a cohort of patients with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH).

Methods: This study was conducted at the Endocrine and Diabetes Unit of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre from September 2007 – October 2015. This was a retrospective chart analysis of prospectively collected data in which the medical records of 4448 patients who had presented to the Endocrine Clinic from 2007 to 2015 were reviewed. A total of 2760 (62.05%) patients were diagnosed with thyroid disorders, whereas 260 (9.42%) patients had SCH. The SCH patients were between the age of 12 to 70 years; TSH was >4mIU/l with normal levels of FT3 and FT4. Patients were enrolled using a predesigned structured proforma. Those having chronic systemic diseases were excluded from this study. SPSS 13 was used to evaluate the data.

Results: Female patients comprised 93.8% (244 patients) of those with SCH, whereas only 6.2% (16 patients) were male. Common presenting symptoms were, lethargy in 146 patients (56.2%); increase in weight in 102 patients (39.2%) and menstrual irregularities in 90 patients (34.6%). TSH level of < 10mIU/l (4 - 10) was seen in 177 patients (68.1%) and 83 patients (31.9%) had TSH ≥ 10mU/l. Thyroxine was given to 183 (70.4%) of these patients. Common treatment indications were TSH of ≥ 10, which was seen in 83 patients (31.9%), subfertility in 32 patients (12.3%), troublesome symptoms suggestive of hypothyroidism in 31 patients (11.9%) and high titers of antibodies in 23 patients (8.8%).

Conclusion: SCH is frequently seen in our population, with most patients complaining of lethargy. The most common treatment indications were a TSH ≥ 10mIU/l, whereas troublesome symptoms of hypothyroidism and subfertility were the common treatment indications in patients who had a TSH of < 10mIU/l.


How to cite this:Khan MA, Ahsan T, Rehman UL, Jabeen R, Farouq S. Subclinical Hypothyroidism: Frequency, clinical presentations and treatment indications. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(4):818-822.   doi:

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