Juvenile autoimmune thyroiditis

Division of Endocrinology and Thyroid Research, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Brig. SK Mazumdar Marg, Timarpur, Delhi, India.
Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism: JPEM (Impact Factor: 1). 10/2007; 20(9):961-70. DOI: 10.1515/JPEM.2007.20.9.961
Source: PubMed


Autoimmune thyroiditis is a frequent cause of goiter in children and studies point to the increasing prevalence of juvenile autoimmune thyroiditis (JAT) in children and adolescents. Clinically, JAT can manifest, depending on the presence or absence of goiter, as either a goitrous form or atrophic form. Both are characterized by the presence of thyroid antibodies in serum, with the goitrous form being more common in children. Recent evidence suggests that thyroid autoimmunity originates from an interaction of genetic, endogenous and environmental factors which end up activating thyroid-specific autoreactive T-cells in susceptible children. In addition to underlying genetic/HLA predisposition, factors including sex hormones, glucocorticoids, low birth weight, radiation and drugs may play a role in thyroid autoimmunity. Patients with JAT can present due to thyroid enlargement or symptoms arising due to hypothyroidism. Asymptomatic enlargement of the thyroid gland is a common presenting complaint, especially in older children and adolescents. Thyroid function can vary from euthyroidism to subclinical or overt forms of hypothyroidism and less commonly hyperthyroidism. Accordingly, patients can be symptomatic. There is considerable debate regarding the management of patients with euthyroidism or subclinical hypothyroidism. Available evidence indicates the presence of residual goiter in endemic form and a high prevalence of JAT in children. It is suggested that children should be screened for goiter as part of school health examinations, and goitrous children should be monitored for thyroid function.

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    Full-text · Book · Feb 2013
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    • "A recent Italian retrospective study described the outcome of 160 children affected with AT followed for up to 32.6 years in 20 paediatric endocrine clinics [58]. In agreement with other reports [56, 57], TSH concentrations showed large fluctuations over time. Analyzing all the data together, a trend toward progressively deteriorating thyroid function was evident. "
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    ABSTRACT: The two major autoimmune thyroid diseases (ATDs) include Graves' disease (GD) and autoimmune thyroiditis (AT); both of which are characterized by infiltration of the thyroid by T and B cells reactive to thyroid antigens, by the production of thyroid autoantibodies and by abnormal thyroid function (hyperthyroidism in GD and hypothyroidism in AT). While the exact etiology of thyroid autoimmunity is not known, it is believed to develop when a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental encounters leads to breakdown of tolerance. It is important to recognize thyroid dysfunction at an early stage by maintaining an appropriate index of suspicion.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Journal of Thyroid Research
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with autoimmune thyroiditis can present with thyroid function that varies from euthyroidism to frank hypothyroidism or occasionally hyperthyroidism. Although there is a risk of progression from the euthyroid or subclinical hypothyroid state to frank hypothyroidism, the rate of progression is not known. Subjects with diffuse goiter and autoimmune thyroiditis were followed up to observe the rate of deterioration in thyroid function from euthyroid and subclinical hypothyroid states to hypothyroidism. Patients who presented with goiter and autoimmune thyroiditis were grouped as those with euthyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism, and overt hypothyroidism on the basis of levels of thyroxine and thyrotropin at presentation. Patients were followed up for a minimum duration of 24 months with periodic monitoring of thyroid function. Ninety-eight consecutive subjects (aged of 8-18 years) with a diagnosis of autoimmune thyroiditis and diffuse goiter were studied. At presentation, in 24 subjects (24.5%) thyroid function was normal (euthyroidism), 32 (32.6%) had subclinical hypothyroidism, and the remaining 42 subjects (42.9%) had hypothyroidism. All of the subjects with hypothyroid were maintained euthyroid on thyroxine during follow-up. Hypothyroidism developed in 3 of 24 patients with euthyroidism and in 4 of 32 patients with subclinical hypothyroidism. Subjects with goitrous autoimmune thyroiditis need periodic monitoring of thyroid function. Development of thyroid dysfunction is insidious and may not be accompanied by symptoms and clinical signs. In pediatric and adolescent age groups it is imperative to correct thyroid dysfunction to achieve optimal growth and development.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2008 · PEDIATRICS
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