The effect of hyperthyroidism at thyroidectomy on complication rates in children with Graves’ disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Graves’ disease (GD) is the most common cause of childhood hyperthyroidism. Surgery is often chosen as a treatment modality given the high relapse rates and side effects of antithyroid drugs and has shown to be safe and efficacious. The goal of our study was to evaluate whether hyperthyroidism at time of thyroidectomy is associated with higher intra and postoperative complication rates. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of children who underwent thyroidectomy for GD by high-volume pediatric otolaryngologists between 2014 and 2021. Results: 64 patients met inclusion criteria. Patients with hyperthyroidism (defined as free T4≥1.63 ng/dL) were more likely to be treated with beta-blocker preoperatively compared to the euthyroid group (20/24 patients (83%) vs 23/40 patients (58%) respectively, p = 0.035). Twenty (83%) patients with hyperthyroidism and 39 euthyroid patients (98%) were treated with methimazole prior to surgery. Intraoperative tachycardia was noted in 5% of euthyroid patients and 20.8% of patients with hyperthyroidism. The mean peak heart rate intra-operatively and the number of patients with heart rate ≥120bmp were significantly higher for patients with hyperthyroidism (96.5 ± 16.2 vs 87.6 ± 22.1bpm, p = 0.02). Two patients required administration of esmolol during surgery for heart rate control, both with hyperthyroidism. Intra-operative peak systolic blood pressure, operative time, estimated blood loss, persistent hypocalcemia, length of admission and recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis rates were similar among groups. Conclusions: Hyperthyroidism at surgery is associated with increased heart rate intraoperatively, with no increased risk for other complications. While optimizing thyroid hormone levels before surgery should be pursued in all children, our data suggest that hyperthyroidism should not delay the surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111360
JournalInternational journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Complications
  • Euthyroid
  • Graves disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Pediatric thyroidectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of hyperthyroidism at thyroidectomy on complication rates in children with Graves’ disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this