Prolonged inappropriate TSH suppression during hypothyroidism after thyroid ablation in a patient with nonautoimmune familial hyperthyroidism

Horm Metab Res. 2011 Jun;43(7):500-4. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1277184. Epub 2011 May 17.


Prolonged TSH suppression was reported in a patient with nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism. These observations were made during L-thyroxine treatment and it was not possible to investigate a possible increase in serum TSH concentrations to levels observed in untreated hypothyroidism. We describe nonautoimmune familial hyperthyroidism identified in an Israeli woman, which is remarkable for the prolonged inappropriate TSH suppression after thyroid ablation. After 2 radioiodine treatments for several years, her TSH was always lower than 0.03 mU/l with 1.6 μg/kg/day (100 μg) thyroxine. 14 years after the radioiodine treatments, she discontinued thyroxine for 3.5 months and developed myxoedema with fT4 <6.0 and fT3 1.3 pmol/l and TSH of only 4.4 mU/l, which rose to only 8.6 after TRH. Genomic analysis showed a germline substitution M626I in the TSHR gene. Both exons of the thyroid-releasing hormone receptor revealed no mutations in this gene. Functional in vitro characterization of M626I showed a cell surface expression of 70% compared with the wt (100%), a significant increase of basal activity (5-fold over wt basal), which was confirmed by linear regression analysis (LRA) (slope: M626I=7, wt=1). No TRH-receptor mutation was detected. Therefore, this is the first patient with nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism with unequivocal evidence for inappropriately prolonged TSH suppression documented by a clearly insufficient TSH increase during clinical hypothyroidism. The in vitro characterization of the TSH-receptor mutation did not show any explanations for the prolonged TSH suppression. Therefore, other possible candidate genes remain to be investigated for potential explanations for this prolonged TSH suppression.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Ablation Techniques*
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • COS Cells
  • Child
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • DNA / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Receptors, Thyrotropin / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Thyroid Gland / surgery*
  • Thyrotropin / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Thyrotropin
  • Thyrotropin
  • DNA