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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3813540, 8 pages
Review Article

Antithyroid Drug Therapy for Graves’ Disease and Implications for Recurrence

Department of Endocrinology, Beijing Chao-Yang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100020, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Guang Wang

Received 18 December 2016; Revised 29 March 2017; Accepted 2 April 2017; Published 26 April 2017

Academic Editor: Jack Wall

Copyright © 2017 Jia Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Graves’ disease (GD) is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism worldwide. Current therapeutic options for GD include antithyroid drugs (ATD), radioactive iodine, and thyroidectomy. ATD treatment is generally well accepted by patients and clinicians due to some advantages including normalizing thyroid function in a short time, hardly causing hypothyroidism, and ameliorating immune disorder while avoiding radiation exposure and invasive procedures. However, the relatively high recurrence rate is a major concern for ATD treatment, which is associated with multiple influencing factors like clinical characteristics, treatment strategies, and genetic and environmental factors. Of these influencing factors, some are modifiable but some are nonmodifiable. The recurrence risk can be reduced by adjusting the modifiable factors as much as possible. The titration regimen for 12–18 months is the optimal strategy of ATD. Levothyroxine administration after successful ATD treatment was not recommended. The addition of immunosuppressive drugs might be helpful to decrease the recurrence rate of GD patients after ATD withdrawal, whereas further studies are needed to address the safety and efficacy. This paper reviewed the current knowledge of ATD treatment and mainly focused on influencing factors for recurrence in GD patients with ATD treatment.