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    Graves' disease (GD) is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in children. This review gives an overview and update of management of GD. Antithyroid drugs (ATD) are recommended as the initial treatment, but the major problem is the high relapse rate (30%) as remission is achieved after a first course of ATD. More prolonged medical treatment may increase the remission rate up to 50%. Alternative treatments, such as radioactive iodine or thyroidectomy, are considered in cases of relapse, lack of compliance, or ATD toxicity. Therefore, clinicians have sought prognostic indicators of remission. Relapse risk decreases with longer duration of the first course of ATD treatment, highlighting the positive impact of a long period of primary ATD treatment on outcome. The identification of other predictive factors such as severe biochemical hyperthyroidism at diagnosis, young age, and absence of other autoimmune conditions has made it possible to stratify patients according to the risk of relapse after ATD treatment, leading to improvement in patient management by facilitating the identification of patients requiring long-term ATD or early alternative therapy. Neonatal autoimmune hyperthyroidism is generally transient, occurring in only about 2% of the offspring of mothers with GD. Cardiac insufficiency, intrauterine growth retardation, craniostenosis, microcephaly and psychomotor disabilities are the major risks in these infants and highlight the importance of thyroid hormone receptor antibody determination throughout pregnancy in women with GD, as well as highlighting the need for early diagnosis and treatment of hyperthyroidism.


    Juliane Léger, Jean Claude Carel. Hyperthyroidism in childhood: causes, when and how to treat. Journal of clinical research in pediatric endocrinology. 2013;5 Suppl 1:50-6

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    PMID: 23154161

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