Thyroid autoimmunity and endemic goiter.

G. F. Fenzi, L. Bartalena, A. Lombardi, L. Chiovato, E. Macchia, C. Giani, A. Pinchera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goitrogenic role of autoimmune phenomena in endemic goiter is still uncertain. Scanty and discrepant results have been reported in different areas of the world. This prompted us to evaluate the prevalence of circulating thyroid antibodies in an area of northwestern Tuscany during a survey for endemic goiter. The survey was carried out according to the P.A.H.O. criteria in a stable community. In all schoolchildren (n = 142; age range 7-15 years) and in most of their parents (n = 159), thyroid size was evaluated and urine was collected for iodine determination. Blood was drawn for determination of circulating thyroid microsomal (MAb) and thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb). TSH binding-inhibiting (TBIAb) and thyroid growth-stimulating antibodies (TGSAb), TT3, TT4 and TSH. Prevalence of goiter in schoolchildren was 77.9% and 94.8% in their parents. Mean (+/- S.D.) urinary iodine excretion was 55.0 +/- 2.1 micrograms/24 h. The overall frequency of TgAB and MAB in the adult population was 14.4, statistically higher than of control subjects matched for sex and age. The frequency in schoolchildren was 4.3%. TBIAb and TGSAb were undetectable in all tested cases. The presence of goiter in children was unrelated with the presence of thyroid antibodies in parents, whether goitrous or non-goitrois. A higher prevalence of goiter was found in children with goitrous parents as compared to children with non-goitrous parents (P less than less than 0.005). In conclusion, the frequency of thyroid autoantibodies in the adult population of the endemic area studies was increased, but showed no relation with the presence of goiter.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-56
Number of pages8
JournalEndocrinologia Experimentalis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Thyroid autoimmunity and endemic goiter.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this