Thyroid size change by CT monitoring after sorafenib or sunitinib treatment in patients with renal cell carcinoma: Comparison with thyroid function - Abstract

Department of Radiology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-2 Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Japan.


Hypothyroidism is a common complication in patients receiving tyrosine kinase inhibitors. We evaluated the relationship between thyroid size evident on CT and thyroid function in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) receiving tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Forty-two patients with metastatic RCC receiving tyrosine kinase inhibitors (sorafenib n=25; sunitinib n=17) and, followed-up for ≥12 months were eligible. Patients who had ever shown an elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level of >10mU/l were defined as having "hypothyroidism". CT scans were performed before, and 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after the start of treatment. The area of the thyroid in the maximum section at each examination was measured and compared with that before treatment. Using repeated-measures ANOVA, differences in thyroid size were compared over time between patients with and without "hypothyroidism", in relation to the type of drug employed.

Twenty-one patients (sorafenib 9, sunitinib 12) developed "hypothyroidism" 95±88 days (range 12-315 days) after the start of treatment. In such patients, the thyroid was reduced in size to 89±16% after 3 months, 81±21% after 6 months, 71±21% after 9 months and 68±21% after 12 months, whereas the patients without "hypothyroidism" maintained a thyroid size of 90±12% even after 12 months (p=0.0030). Among the patients with "hypothyroidism", those treated with sunitinib tended to show greater thyroid size reduction than those with sorafenib (59±23% vs. 79±13%, after 12 months).

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors cause an apparent thyroid size reduction in patients with "hypothyroidism".

Written by:
Kitajima K, Takahashi S, Maeda T, Yoshikawa T, Ohno Y, Fujii M, Miyake H, Fujisawa M, Sugimura K.   Are you the author?

Reference: Eur J Radiol. 2011 Jul 1. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2011.06.035

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21724350 Renal Cancer Section