2007 Volume 54 Issue 1 Pages 39-43
The relation between the incidence of methimazole (methylmercaptoimidazole; MMI)-induced agranulocytosis and initial MMI dose was evaluated in a group of 514 patients with Graves' disease who were treated between 1995 and 2005. One hundred and forty-six (28.40%) patients had received an initial dose of 30 mg MMI and 277 (53.89%) patients had been treated with 15 mg MMI. Nine patients (1.75%) developed agranulocytosis due to MMI treatment. Six (4.11%) of 146 patients who received an initial dose of 30 mg MMI, two (4.54%) of 44 patients given an initial dose of 20 mg MMI, and one (0.36%) of 277 patients given an initial dose of 15 mg MMI developed agranulocytosis. There was a statistically significant difference in agranulocytosis incidence between patients receiving an initial dose of 30 mg MMI and those who received an initial dose of 15 mg. Although 8 (4.10%) of 195 patients in the high-dose group (20 mg or higher) developed agranulocytosis, only 1 (0.31%) of 319 patients in the low-dose group (15 mg or lower) did. In conclusion, the incidence of agranulocytosis with low-dose MMI therapy was ten times lower than that of the high-dose regimen.