Graves' hyperthyroidism following primary hypothyroidism: sequential changes in various activities of thyrotropin receptor antibodies

in European Journal of Endocrinology
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Abstract. A 40-year-old male who developed Graves' hyperthyroidism following primary hypothyroidism is reported. He presented with clinical signs of hypothyroidism and concomitant myasthenia gravis. The thyroid was not palpable. He was treated with T4, pyridostigmine and prednisolone. One year later he developed hyperthyroidism and goitre. His initial serum IgG had no intrinsic thyroid stimulating activity, but showed almost complete inhibition of TSH-stimulated cAMP generation (99.4%, normal <38%) and [3H]thymidine incorporation (99.5%, normal<40%) into rat thyroid cells, FRTL-5 cells, with very high activity (80.2%, normal <15%) of TSH binding inhibitor immunoglobulin. When he developed hyperthyroidism and goitre, his IgG showed a strong thyroid stimulation, both cAMP production (27-fold increase) and [3H]thymidine incorporation (5.5-fold increase). No inhibitory activities were noted. These findings suggest that clinical states of autoimmune thyroid diseases can be changed in accordance with changes of functional properties of TSH receptor antibodies.


     European Society of Endocrinology

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