Introduction: A randomized clinical trial (RCT) was performed to evaluate the efficacy of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for hypothyroidism induced by chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (CAT).
Objective: The objective was to assess the safety and actions of LLLT 6 years after completion of the RCT.
Materials and methods: Forty-three participants were invited to participate in this study 6 years after completion of the RCT. Twenty-five were subjected to LLLT (group L), and 18 were subjected to placebo (group P). Primary outcome measure: frequency of thyroid nodules, which were subjected to fine-needle aspiration biopsy. Secondary outcome measures: dose of levothyroxine required to treat hypothyroidism, thyroid peroxidase antibodies (anti-TPO), and anti-thyroglobulin antibodies (anti-Tg).
Results: In group L, a nodule was observed in three patients, who all had a Bethesda II classification. In group P, a nodule was also observed in three patients, with two classified as Bethesda II and one as Bethesda III. The levothyroxine dose required by group L was significantly lower than that required by group P (P = 0.002). The anti-TPO and anti-Tg levels did not differ between the groups.
Conclusion: LLLT, by the methods described, has been shown to be safe for the treatment of hypothyroidism resulting from CAT. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02240563.