Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) is highly prevalent among reproductive-aged women and has a substantial negative impact on fertility. Currently, there is no specific treatment for Hashimoto thyroiditis. We hypothesize that acupuncture can halt or delay the progression of HT and improve fertility in child-bearing period female. We therefore designed a randomized controlled trial to test this hypothesis by comparing the therapeutic effect of acupuncture vs sham acupuncture in patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis.
In this randomized controlled study, a total of 284 eligible patients will be assigned to acupuncture group (n = 142) or sham acupuncture group (n = 142) in a 1:1 ratio. All patients will receive 36 sessions in total for 12 consecutive weeks with the same acupoint prescription (RN23, ST9, RN17, RN4, RN6, ST36, SP6, KI6). The primary assessment is the titers of thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin antibody (TGAb). Secondary outcomes include the thyroid function, ovarian function, the rate of primary ovarian insufficiency, and pregnancy outcome. The thyroid function and thyroid antibodies tests will be measured at weeks 0, 4, 8, and 12 after randomization. The ovarian function will be examined on the 2nd to 4th day of the menstrual period in the 1st month, 2nd month and 3rd month compared with baseline. Both the pregnancy outcome and the rate of primary ovarian insufficiency will be evaluated 1 year after treatment.
This will be the first large-scale trial specifically evaluating acupuncture therapy in child-bearing period female with Hashimoto thyroiditis. If the study confirms the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment, more consistent acupuncture therapy can be set up for clinical practice.
Chinese Clinical Trials Register identifier, ChiCTR2000031320, registered on 27 March 2020.