Background: Turner syndrome is caused by numeric and structural abnormalities of the X chromosome. An increased frequency of autoimmunity as well as an elevated incidence of autoantibodies was observed in Turner patients. The aim of this study was to conduct a retrospective analysis of the incidence of autoimmunity in 66 Italian patients affected by Turner syndrome. Methods. Sixty-six unselected and consecutive Italian Turner patients were recruited. The association between age, karyotype and the presence of clinical/pre-clinical autoimmune disorders and of autoantibodies was examined. Results: Out of the 66 Turner patients, 26 had thyroid autoimmune disorders (39.4%), 14 patients had Hashimoto's thyroiditis with clinical or subclinical hypothyroidism (21.2%) and 12 patients had circulating anti-thyroid antibodies, echographic pattern of diffuse hypoechogenicity and normal thyroid hormone levels (18.2%). None were affected by Graves' disease. We analyzed the overall incidence of thyroid autoimmunity within the 3 different age groups 0-9.9, 10-19.9 and 20-29.9 years. No statistically significant difference was observed in the incidence of thyroid autoimmunity within the age-groups (χ§ssup§2§ esup§-test p > 0.05).Out of the 66 patients, 31 patients had the 45,X karyotype; within this first group 14 out of 31 patients were affected by autoimmune thyroid disease. A second group of 29 patients included 19 patients with mosaicism, 5 patients with deletions and 5 patients with ring chromosome; out of these 29 patients 7 were affected by autoimmune thyroid disease. A third group included 6 patients with X isochromosome; 5 out of 6 were affected by autoimmune thyroid disease. A statistically significant difference in the frequency of thyroid autoimmunity within the different karyotype groups was observed (χ§ssup§2§esup§-test p = 0.0173).When comparing the X isochromosome group with the pooled group of other karyotypes, of note, the frequency of thyroid autoimmunity was statistically higher in the X isochromosome group (Fisher exact test p = 0.0315). Conclusions: Our data confirm a high frequency of thyroid autoimmunity in Italian Turner patients. Patients with X isochromosome are more prone to develop thyroid autoimmunity. Further, an early assay of autoantibodies and monitoring thyroid hormones is fundamental for detecting hypothyroidism earlier and start adequate replacement therapy.
- Karyotype analysis
- Thyroid disease
- Turner syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health