Prevalence of parietal cell antibodies in a large cohort of patients with autoimmune thyroiditis.
ABSTRACT Autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT) may be associated with other organ-specific autoimmune disorders, including autoimmune gastritis, but the prevalence of this association is not entirely quantified. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of parietal cell antibodies (PCA) in a large cohort of consecutive patients with AIT.
We retrospectively studied 2016 consecutive women and 258 men with AIT seen at our referral center in the period from 2004 to 2008. All patients were screened for the presence of PCA in the serum.
The prevalence of serum PCA in female patients was 29.7% and progressively increased from 13% in the first-second decade of life to peak at 42% in the ninth decade. During follow up, 21.1% of the PCA-positive patients converted to PCA-negative status. Mean (±standard deviation) basal PCA levels in this group were significantly lower (32 ± 28 U/mL) compared with those remaining PCA positive (129 ± 200 U/mL). A similar prevalence (29.8%) with a similar age-dependency was found in male patients.
In conclusion, our study demonstrates a high, age-dependent prevalence of PCA in an unselected large population of patients with AIT.