Osteoprotegerin levels in children with subclinical hypothyroidism

Acta Paediatr. 2020 Dec;109(12):2770-2774. doi: 10.1111/apa.15291. Epub 2020 Apr 24.


Aim: In this study, we investigated the osteoprotegerin (OPG) and soluble receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa Β ligand (sRANKL) serum levels in association with thyroid function in children with subclinical hypothyroidism.

Methods: In 143 children and adolescents with subclinical hypothyroidism and 343 with normal thyroid function, age, height, weight and pubertal status were recorded and TSH, free thyroxine (FT4), anti-thyroid antibodies, OPG and sRANKL were measured in serum. Multiple linear regression was used for the statistical analysis with P < .05.

Results: Children with subclinical hypothyroidism had higher TSH and lower FT4 serum levels than the control group (P < .05). Both groups had similar BMI Z-score, OPG and sRANKL serum levels. After multiple regression analysis, in children with subclinical hypothyroidism, OPG was negatively associated with FT4 (P < .05) whilst no association was observed between OPG and sRANKL, as well as between FT4 serum levels and RANKL.

Conclusion: Osteoprotegerin levels in children with subclinical hypothyroidism do not differ from those of euthyroid children. However, there is a negative association between FT4 and OPG levels observed only in the SH group. Considering the link between vascular dysfunction and alterations in osteoprotegerin levels, further research is needed to establish the role of childhood subclinical hypothyroidism in the long-term cardiovascular risk.

Keywords: children and adolescents; osteoprotegerin; subclinical hypothyroidism.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism*
  • Osteoprotegerin*
  • RANK Ligand


  • Osteoprotegerin
  • RANK Ligand