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Luca Chiovato, Daniela Larizza, Giovanna Bendinelli, Massimo Tonacchera, Michele Marinò, Claudia Mammoli, Renata Lorini, Francesca Severi and Aldo Pinchera

Chiovato L, Larizza D, Bendinelli G, Tonacchera M, Marinò M, Mammoli C, Lorini R, Severi F, Pinchera A. Autoimmune hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in patients with Turner's syndrome. Eur J Endocrinol 1996;134:568–75. ISSN 0804–4643

A high prevalence of autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) has been described in Turner's syndrome (TS) but the extent of this association is controversial for the prevalence of thyroid autoantibody and the clinical impact of thyroid dysfunction. In this study we searched for thyroid disease and thyroid autoantibodies in patients with TS. Seventy-five unselected TS patients (age range 3–30 years) were studied. Sera were tested for thyroid hormones, thyrotropin (TSH), thyroglobulin (TG-ab) and thyroperoxidase (TPO-ab) antibodies. The TSH-receptor antibodies with thyroid-stimulating (TS-ab) or TSH-blocking activity (TSHB-ab) were measured in the IgG fraction using a bioassay. Ten out of 75 (13.3%) TS patients had AITD: eight had autoimmune thyroiditis (AT) (six with subclinical and two with overt hypothyroidism and one with euthyroidism) and one had Graves' disease. The prevalence of AITD increased significantly (p < 0.05) from the first (15%) to the third (30%) decade of life. The prevalence of TPO-ab and/or TG-ab (20%) was higher (p < 0.05) in TS than in age-matched female controls and increased from the first (15%) to the third (30%) decade of life. Clinical AITD was diagnosed in 46% of TS patients with TPO-ab and/or TG-ab. Thyroid-stimulating antibody was detected in the hyperthyroid patient, and TSHB-ab was found in one of eight patients with hypothyroid AT. It was concluded that: TS patients are at higher than average risk of developing AITD not only in adolescence and adult age but also in childhood; hypothyroidism, mainly subclinical, is the most frequent thyroid dysfunction; elevated TPO-ab and/or TG-ab alone do not imply thyroid dysfunction; TS-ab or TSHB-ab are always associated with thyroid dysfunction although most cases of autoimmune hypothyroidism are not due to the latter antibody.

Luca Chiovato, Istituto di Endocrinologia, Università di Pisa, Viale del Tirreno, 64, 56018 Tirrenia, Pisa, Italy

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Eleonora Sisti, Barbara Coco, Francesca Menconi, Marenza Leo, Roberto Rocchi, Francesco Latrofa, Maria Antonietta Profilo, Barbara Mazzi, Eleonora Albano, Paolo Vitti, Claudio Marcocci, Maurizia Brunetto and Michele Marinò

Objective

Intravenous glucocorticoid (i.v.GC) pulse therapy for Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO) can be associated with acute liver damage (ALD), which was roughly estimated to occur in ∼1% of patients, with an overall mortality of 0.4%. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of ALD after the introduction of a series of exclusion criteria and preventive measures.

Design

Retrospective evaluation of all consecutive patients candidate to i.v.GC over a period of 5 years.

Methods

The study includes 376 GO patients candidate to i.v.GC. Several liver tests were performed before, during, and after i.v.GC. To prevent ALD morbidity and mortality, the following measures were applied: i) exclusion of patients with active viral hepatitis and/or severe liver steatosis; ii) reduction in the GC dose, frequency, and number of pulses; and iii) administration of oral GC after i.v.GC, and also during i.v.GC in patients positive for nonorgan-specific autoantibodies (to prevent autoimmune hepatitis due to immune rebound). ALD was defined as an increase in alanine aminotransferase ≥300 U/l.

Results

A total of 353 patients were given i.v.GC and 23 were excluded for various conditions. ALD was detected in 4/376 patients candidate to i.v.GC, resulting in a morbidity of 1.06%. One patient recovered spontaneously and three after additional treatment with oral GC, given to re-establish immune suppression in the suspect of an autoimmune hepatitis.

Conclusions

ALD related to i.v.GC is a relatively rare adverse event. Provided an accurate selection of patients and a series of preventive measures are applied, i.v.GC is a safe treatment for the liver.

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Stefano Mariotti, Giuseppe Barbesino, Patrizio Caturegli, Francesca Atzeni, Luca Manetti, Michele Marino, Lucia Grasso, Fernanda Velluzzi, Andrea Loviselli, Aldo Pinchera and Enio Martino

Mariotti S, Barbesino G, Caturegli P, Atzeni F, Manetti L, Marinò M, Grasso L, Velluzzi F, Loviselli A, Pinchera A, Martino E. False negative results observed in anti-thyroid peroxidase autoantibody determination by competitive radioimmunoassays using monoclonal antibodies. Eur J Endocrinol 1994;130:552–8. ISSN 0804–4643

Objective: Anti-thyroid peroxidase autoantibody (anti-TPO) and anti-thyroid microsomal antibody (anti-M) are strictly related, but discrepancies are sometimes observed. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence and to identify the causes of these discrepancies. Design and antibody measurements: Anti-M by passive hemagglutination and anti-TPO by two competitive monoclonal antibody-assisted radioimmunoassays (RIA-1 and RIA-2) were measured in 10 103 sera from 4232 subjects (663 male, 3569 female) screened for thyroid disease. Results: Anti-TPO and anti-M correlated quite well (r = 0.7 and p < 0.0001 by RIA-1; r = 0.74 and p < 0.0001 by RIA-2), with discrepancies mostly limited to sera with low antibody titers. After exclusion of the latter samples, anti-TPO were detected in only 79 (1.4%) out of 5317 anti-M negative sera, but were undetectable in a more consistent proportion (130/2880 = 4.5%) of sera from patients with autoimmune thyroid disease and positive anti-M. In 61 sera of the latter group, anti-TPO was measured by a non-competitive RIA (RIA-3). Forty-one (67.7%) were positive by RIA-3, suggesting the presence of anti-TPO not competing with the monoclonal antibodies of RIA-1 and RIA-2. The remaining 20 sera had undetectable anti-TPO also by RIA-3. Nineteen (95%) of these sera had positive anti-thyroglobulin (anti-Tg) autoantibody and preincubation with thyroglobulin inhibited the agglutination reaction of anti-M tests. Conclusion: Anti-TPO by competitive monoclonal antibody-assisted RIA is negative in a minority of sera of patients with autoimmune thyroid disease and positive anti-M. This could be accounted for by anti-Tg producing false positives in the anti-M assay and by a subset of anti-TPO not competing with the monoclonal antibodies in the RIA. When autoimmune thyroid disease is suspected on clinical grounds, a negative anti-TPO test with a competitive RIA should be confirmed always by a non-competitive assay.

Stefano Mariotti. Institute of Endocrinology. University of Pisa, Viale del Tirreno 64,1-56018 Tirrenia-Pisa, Italy

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Luigi Bartalena, Lelio Baldeschi, Alison Dickinson, Anja Eckstein, Pat Kendall-Taylor, Claudio Marcocci, Maarten Mourits, Petros Perros, Kostas Boboridis, Antonella Boschi, Nicola Currò, Chantal Daumerie, George J Kahaly, Gerasimos E Krassas, Carol M Lane, John H Lazarus, Michele Marinò, Marco Nardi, Christopher Neoh, Jacques Orgiazzi, Simon Pearce, Aldo Pinchera, Susanne Pitz, Mario Salvi, Paolo Sivelli, Matthias Stahl, Georg von Arx and Wilmar M Wiersinga