The Differential Effects of Propylthiouracil and Methimazole as Graves’ Disease Treatment on Vascular Atherosclerosis Markers: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Wismandari Wisnu, Idrus Alwi, Nafrialdi Nafrialdi, Kuntjoro Harimurti, Tjokorda Gede D. Pemayun, Sri Widia A. Jusman, Dewi Irawati S. Santoso, Alida R. Harahap, Suhendro Suwarto, Imam Subekti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Hyperthyroidism is related to vascular atherosclerosis. Propylthiouracil (PTU) and methimazole, other than their antithyroid effects, may have different mechanisms in preventing atherogenesis in Graves’ disease. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effect of antithyroid drugs on markers of vascular atherosclerosis in Graves’ hyperthyroidism. Methods: This study was a single-blind, randomized clinical trial conducted on 36 patients with Graves’ disease in Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia, from June 2019 until July 2020. Graves’ disease was diagnosed from clinical manifestation of hyperthyroidism with diffuse goiter and then confirmed by thyroid stimulation hormone (TSH), free T4 (fT4), and TSH-receptor antibody (TRAb) measurements. Participants were randomly assigned to either a PTU or a methimazole treatment group and followed up for 3 months. Markers of vascular atherosclerosis were represented by adhesion molecules [intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and E-selectin], carotid artery stiffness [pulse wave velocity (PWV)], and thickness [carotid intima media thickness (cIMT)]. Results: By the end of the study, 24 participants reached euthyroid condition (13 from the PTU group and 11 from the methimazole group). After 3 months of follow-up, in the PTU group, we noticed an improvement of ICAM-1 [pretreatment: 204.1 (61.3) vs. posttreatment: 141.6 (58.4) ng/ml; p = 0.001], VCAM-1 [837 (707–977) vs. 510 (402–630) ng/ml; p < 0.001] and E-selectin [32.1 (24.1–42.7) vs. 28.2 (21.6–36.8) ng/ml; p = 0.045] in the PTU group. In the methimazole group, only VCAM-1 improvement [725 (565–904) vs. 472 (367–590); p = 0.001] was observed. Meanwhile, we found no significant changes in PWV or cIMT in either group. Conclusion: Antithyroid treatment in Graves’ disease leads to improvement in adhesion molecules, with a lesser effect on methimazole, whereas there were no significant changes in PWV or cIMT. PTU may have a better mechanism compared with methimazole in terms of improving adhesion molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Article number796194
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • adhesion molecules
  • carotid intima media thickness
  • Graves’ disease
  • hyperthyroidism
  • methimazole
  • propylthiouracil
  • pulse wave velocity
  • vascular atherosclerosis

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