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  • Author: Francesca Pigliaru x
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Sandra Zoncu, Francesca Pigliaru, Claudia Putzu, Lorella Pisano, Sara Vargiu, Martino Deidda, Stefano Mariotti and Giuseppe Mercuro

Objective: In subclinical hypothyroidism (SH), impaired diastolic function has been documented at rest and on effort, while systolic dysfunction has only been assessed on effort.

Design: The aim of the present study was: (a) to further assess systolic function at rest in SH; and (b) to ascertain whether cardiac dysfunction could precede TSH increase in euthyroid patients with a high risk of developing SH.

Methods: We studied 32 patients with classical Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (22 with increased serum TSH (> 3 mU/ml – group A), and 10 with normal serum TSH (< 3 mU/ml – group B)); a third group (C), which included 13 healthy controls. All subjects underwent pulsed wave tissue Doppler imaging (PWTDI) to accurately quantify the global and regional left ventricular function.

Results: When compared with group C, PWTDI indices showed that in both groups A and B there was a significant impairment of systolic ejection (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05, respectively), a delay in diastolic relaxation (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05, respectively) and a decrease in the compliance to the ventricular filling (P < 0.05). Several significant correlations were found between PWTDI parameters and serum-free T3 and T4 and TSH concentrations.

Conclusion: PWTDI is a sensitive technique that allows detection of both diastolic and systolic abnormalities, not only in patients with SH, but also in euthyroid subjects with a high risk of developing thyroid failure. Futhermore, the significant correlations of several PWTDI indices with serum FT3 and TSH concentrations strongly support the concept of a continuum spectrum of a slight thyroid failure in autoimmune thyroiditis extending to subjects with serum TSH still within the normal range.

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Lara Naletto, Anna Chiara Frigo, Filippo Ceccato, Chiara Sabbadin, Riccardo Scarpa, Fabio Presotto, Miriam Dalla Costa, Diego Faggian, Mario Plebani, Simona Censi, Jacopo Manso, Jadwiga Furmaniak, Shu Chen, Bernard Rees Smith, Stefano Masiero, Francesca Pigliaru, Marco Boscaro, Carla Scaroni and Corrado Betterle


Adrenal cortex autoantibodies (ACAs) and/or 21-hydroxylase (21OHAb) are markers of autoimmune Addison’s disease (AAD) and progression to overt AAD. The reported cumulative risk of developing AAD varies from 0 to 90% in different studies.


To assess the predictive value of different parameters in the progression toward AAD in patients with ACA and/or 21OHAb-positive patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndromes (APS).

Materials and methods

Twenty-nine patients with APS-1 and 114 patients with APS-2 or APS-4 were followed up for a median of 10 years (range 6 months to 33 years) and were assessed using ACTH test. The risk of AAD was estimated according to age, gender, stage of adrenal dysfunction, associated diseases and antibody titer. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used for statistical analysis.


The cumulative risk (CR) of developing AAD was higher in APS-1 patients (94.2%) than in patients with APS-2/APS-4 (38.7%). The CR was high in both male and female APS-1 patients, while in patients with APS-2/APS-4 it was high only in males. Stage 1 (increased plasma renin) for patients with APS-1 and Stage 2 (no response of cortisol to ACTH test) for patients with APS-2/APS-4 were established as the points of no return in the progression to AAD. Adjusted hazard ratio analyses by multivariate Cox model for AAD showed that gender, diseases and adrenal function were independent risk factors for developing clinical AAD. The risk of developing clinical AAD appears to subside after 19 years of follow-up.


A model for estimating the probability to survive free of AAD has been developed and should be a useful tool in designing appropriate follow-up intervals and future therapeutic strategies.