Autoimmune hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in patients with Turner's syndrome

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-575
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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