Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 40, Issue 11, pp 1243–1250 | Cite as

Levothyroxine monotherapy versus levothyroxine and selenium combination therapy in chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis

  • L. Yu
  • L. Zhou
  • E. Xu
  • Y. Bi
  • X. Hu
  • X. Pei
  • G. JinEmail author
Original Article



New strategies are needed for prevention and treatment of chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT). This study aimed to assess whether combination of levothyroxine treatment and selenium (Se) supplementation results in improved therapeutic effects in CLT compared with levothyroxine monotherapy.


An open-label, randomized controlled study was performed in 60 CLT patients assigned to two groups. Levothyroxine group (LT) patients (n = 24) received levothyroxine alone for 3 months; meanwhile, the combination (LTSS) group (n = 36) was administered levothyroxine with selenium yeast capsule. Blood selenium concentrations, anti-thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and anti-thyroglobulin (Tg) antibody levels, and inflammatory cytokine amounts were compared between both groups before and after treatment.


At baseline, similar values were obtained in both groups for all the parameters assessed (p > 0.05). After treatment, significantly increased blood selenium levels (µg/L) [90.05 (80.69, 107.76) vs. 39.64 (29.42, 51.10), p < 0.001] and decreased anti-TPO antibody (23.63 ± 9.31 vs. 32.00 ± 10.41%, p = 0.002), anti-Tg antibody (35.84 ± 15.21 vs. 45.47 ± 14.24%, p = 0.015) and IL-2 amounts (pg/mL) [159.29 (124.54, 189.70) vs. 226.48 (190.74, 266.56), p < 0.001] were observed in the LTSS group compared with the LT group post-treatment; meanwhile, similar IL-10 concentrations [23.14 (21.65, 28.56) pg/mL vs. 24.68 (21.71, 29.67) pg/mL] were obtained in both groups. Subgroup analysis of patients with hypothyroidism showed the same trend observed in the whole population; in patients with normal thyroid function, only Se and IL-2 amounts differed between the two treatment groups. Correlation analysis of of the indexes: in HT patients, the basal serum selenium concentration was positively correlated with TT4 (r = 0.294, p < 0.05), significantly negatively correlated with TSH (r = −0.343, p < 0.01), and had no significant correlation with TT3 (p > 0.05).


These findings indicated that levothyroxine and selenium combination results in improved therapeutic effects than the levothyroxine monotherapy in preventing CLT progression.


Selenium Levothyroxine Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis Hypothyroidism IL-2 IL-10 


Compliance with ethical standards


This study was funded by the key projects of science and technology development fund of Bengbu medical college, China (Bykf12A12).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the Clinical Research Ethical Committee of 1st affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical College.

Informed consent

Informed consent was provided by each participant.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Yu
    • 1
  • L. Zhou
    • 2
  • E. Xu
    • 3
  • Y. Bi
    • 1
  • X. Hu
    • 1
  • X. Pei
    • 1
  • G. Jin
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of EndocrinologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical CollegeBengbuChina
  2. 2.Department of EndocrinologyThe Second Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical CollegeBengbuChina
  3. 3.Room of Physical DiagnosticsBengbu Medical CollegeBengbuChina

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