Post-radiotherapy hypothyroidism in dogs treated for thyroid carcinomas

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Amores-Fuster I, Cripps P, Blackwood L.

Vet Comp Oncol 2017;15:247-251.

Hypothyroidism is a common adverse event after head and neck radiotherapy in human medicine, but uncommonly reported in canine patients. Records of 21 dogs with histologically or cytologically confirmed thyroid carcinoma receiving definitive or hypofractionated radiotherapy were reviewed. Nine cases received 48 Gy in 12 fractions, 10 received 36 Gy in 4 fractions and 2 received 32 Gy in 4 fractions. Seventeen cases had radiotherapy in a post-operative setting. Ten cases developed hypothyroidism (47.6%) after radiotherapy. The development of hypothyroidism was not associated with the radiotherapy protocol used. Median time to diagnosis of hypothyroidism was 6 months (range, 1-13 months). Hypothyroidism is a common side effect following radiotherapy for thyroid carcinomas. Monitoring of thyroid function following radiotherapy is recommended. No specific risk factors have been identified.