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21-03-2017 | Osteoporosis | Case report | Article

Case report: fast reversal of severe osteoporosis after correction of excessive levothyroxine treatment and long-term follow-up

Osteoporosis International

Authors: C. M. Laine, K. Landin-Wilhelmsen

Publisher: Springer London



This case report describes a 38-year-old woman, who presented with bilateral femoral stress fractures and osteoporosis after years of excessive levothyroxine treatment. Her bone health was restored rapidly and long-lasting with the reduction of levothyroxine dosage. No bone-active treatment was warranted.


Hyperthyroidism is a known risk factor for osteoporosis and fractures. Recent studies on patients with serum thyrotropin-suppressive therapy have not, however, indicated adverse effects on bone during long-term follow-up.


This case report describes long-term follow-up data of a clinically euthyreoid patient, who developed symptomatic osteoporosis due to excessive levothyroxine treatment.


After correction of levothyroxine dosage, her bone mineral density (BMD) and previously elevated serum osteocalcin levels normalized rapidly and she remained free from fractures during 23 years of follow-up over menopause.


Excessive TSH suppression contributed to the secondary osteoporosis in this patient; BMD normalized after dose reduction of levothyroxine and no fractures occurred during 23 years’ follow-up. Some patients develop severe osteoporosis if they are over-substituted with levothyroxine, and decent follow-up of patients with levothyroxine supplementation is mandatory.

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