Introduction: Serum thyrotropin (TSH) receptor antibodies (TRAbs) are occasionally found in patients with amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis (AIT), and usually point to a diagnosis of type 1 AIT (AIT1) due to Graves' disease (GD). However, the TRAb role and function in AIT have not been clarified. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of 309 AIT patients followed at a single academic center over a 30-year period. AIT TRAb-positive patients (n = 21, 7% of all cases) constituted the study group; control groups consisted of type 2 AIT (AIT2) TRAb-negative patients (n = 233), and 100 non-AIT patients with GD. Clinical and biochemical data at diagnosis and during the course of disease were compared. Histological samples of patients who had total thyroidectomy were reviewed. Stored serum samples were used for a functional assay of TRAb class G immunoglobulins (IgGs) in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells stably transfected with complementary DNA encoding for the TSH receptor. Results: TRAb-positive patients were grouped according to color flow Doppler sonography, radioactive iodine thyroid uptake, and duration of amiodarone therapy before thyrotoxicosis in type 1 (n = 9, 43%; TRAb1) or type 2 (n = 12, 57%; TRAb2) AIT. TRAb1 patients had clinical and biochemical features indistinguishable from GD controls, and were responsive to methimazole. Conversely, TRAb2 patients had clinical features similar to AIT2 controls, and were responsive to glucocorticoids, but not to methimazole. The CHO cell functional assay demonstrated that TRAb1 IgGs had a stimulatory effect on cyclic AMP production, which was absent in TRAb2 IgGs. Pathology in TRAb1 showed hyperplastic thyroid follicles and mild lymphocyte infiltration, reflecting thyroid stimulation. On the contrary, TRAb2 samples revealed follicle destruction, macrophage infiltration, and sometimes fibrosis, consistent with a destructive process. Conclusions: Almost 60% of TRAb-positive AIT patients had a destructive thyroiditis. TRAb-positive tests in AIT patients do thus not necessarily imply a diagnosis of GD and AIT1, and should be evaluated in the clinical and biochemical setting of each AIT patient and confirmed by measuring thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins.

Identification of Two Different Phenotypes of Patients with Amiodarone-Induced Thyrotoxicosis and Positive Thyrotropin Receptor Antibody Tests

Cappellani D.;De Marco G.;Ferrarini E.;Torregrossa L.;Di Certo A. M.;Cosentino G.;Urbani C.;Marconcini G.;Mattiello A.;Manetti L.;Basolo F.;Tonacchera M.;Bartalena L.;Bogazzi F.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Introduction: Serum thyrotropin (TSH) receptor antibodies (TRAbs) are occasionally found in patients with amiodarone-induced thyrotoxicosis (AIT), and usually point to a diagnosis of type 1 AIT (AIT1) due to Graves' disease (GD). However, the TRAb role and function in AIT have not been clarified. Methods: A retrospective cohort study of 309 AIT patients followed at a single academic center over a 30-year period. AIT TRAb-positive patients (n = 21, 7% of all cases) constituted the study group; control groups consisted of type 2 AIT (AIT2) TRAb-negative patients (n = 233), and 100 non-AIT patients with GD. Clinical and biochemical data at diagnosis and during the course of disease were compared. Histological samples of patients who had total thyroidectomy were reviewed. Stored serum samples were used for a functional assay of TRAb class G immunoglobulins (IgGs) in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells stably transfected with complementary DNA encoding for the TSH receptor. Results: TRAb-positive patients were grouped according to color flow Doppler sonography, radioactive iodine thyroid uptake, and duration of amiodarone therapy before thyrotoxicosis in type 1 (n = 9, 43%; TRAb1) or type 2 (n = 12, 57%; TRAb2) AIT. TRAb1 patients had clinical and biochemical features indistinguishable from GD controls, and were responsive to methimazole. Conversely, TRAb2 patients had clinical features similar to AIT2 controls, and were responsive to glucocorticoids, but not to methimazole. The CHO cell functional assay demonstrated that TRAb1 IgGs had a stimulatory effect on cyclic AMP production, which was absent in TRAb2 IgGs. Pathology in TRAb1 showed hyperplastic thyroid follicles and mild lymphocyte infiltration, reflecting thyroid stimulation. On the contrary, TRAb2 samples revealed follicle destruction, macrophage infiltration, and sometimes fibrosis, consistent with a destructive process. Conclusions: Almost 60% of TRAb-positive AIT patients had a destructive thyroiditis. TRAb-positive tests in AIT patients do thus not necessarily imply a diagnosis of GD and AIT1, and should be evaluated in the clinical and biochemical setting of each AIT patient and confirmed by measuring thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulins.
2021
Cappellani, D.; De Marco, G.; Ferrarini, E.; Torregrossa, L.; Di Certo, A. M.; Cosentino, G.; Urbani, C.; Marconcini, G.; Mattiello, A.; Manetti, L.; Agretti, P.; Basolo, F.; Tonacchera, M.; Bartalena, L.; Bogazzi, F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1117854
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