Alternating antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody specificity: drug-induced vasculitis in a patient with Wegener's granulomatosis.
We describe a patient who presented with Wegener's granulomatosis associated with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) directed against proteinase 3 (PR3) with a cytoplasmic immunofluorescence pattern (cANCA), whose ANCA type changed to antimyeloperoxidase antibodies with a perinuclear immunofluorescence pattern (pANCA) when treated with propylthiouracil, and changed back to anti-PR3 antibodies with cANCA after the medication was discontinued. The patient developed flares of vasculitis symptoms associated with rises in either type of ANCA. Tests for antimyeloperoxidase ANCA were repeatedly negative before the drug was started, strongly implicating the drug as the cause of the episode. This case demonstrates that patients with idiopathic ANCA-positive vasculitis may quickly develop a superimposed drug-associated ANCA-positive vasculitis. Iatrogenic vasculitis should be suspected when a patient with idiopathic vasculitis with one type of ANCA develops the other type of ANCA. (+info
Screening methods for thyroid hormone disruptors.
The U.S. Congress has passed legislation requiring the EPA to implement screening tests for identifying endocrine-disrupting chemicals. A series of workshops was sponsored by the EPA, the Chemical Manufacturers Association, and the World Wildlife Fund; one workshop focused on screens for chemicals that alter thyroid hormone function and homeostasis. Participants at this meeting identified and examined methods to detect alterations in thyroid hormone synthesis, transport, and catabolism. In addition, some methods to detect chemicals that bind to the thyroid hormone receptors acting as either agonists or antagonists were also identified. Screening methods used in mammals as well as other vertebrate classes were examined. There was a general consensus that all known chemicals which interfere with thyroid hormone function and homeostasis act by either inhibiting synthesis, altering serum transport proteins, or by increasing catabolism of thyroid hormones. There are no direct data to support the assertion that certain environmental chemicals bind and activate the thyroid hormone receptors; further research is indicated. In light of this, screening methods should reflect known mechanisms of action. Most methods examined, albeit useful for mechanistic studies, were thought to be too specific and therefore would not be applicable for broad-based screening. Determination of serum thyroid hormone concentrations following chemical exposure in rodents was thought to be a reasonable initial screen. Concurrent histologic evaluation of the thyroid would strengthen this screen. Similar methods in teleosts may be useful as screens, but would require indicators of tissue production of thyroid hormones. The use of tadpole metamorphosis as a screen may also be useful; however, this method requires validation and standardization prior to use as a broad-based screen. (+info
Risk of iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis after coronary angiography: an investigation in 788 unselected subjects.
In this study, the risk of iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis in unselected patients from an iodine-deficient area was investigated. The patients were consecutively enrolled. Thyroid hormone values and urinary iodine excretion were determined before, as well as 1, 4 and 12 weeks after iodine contamination by coronary angiography. Two of 788 unselected patients developed hyperthyroidism within 12 weeks. The two patients did not belong to a risk group for iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis (i.e. old people, patients with goiter or possible thyroid autonomy, low TSH). Both patients had normal TSH levels at baseline and ultrasound of the thyroid was without evidence of nodules. The study shows that in euthyroid unselected patients from an iodine-deficient area short-term iodine contamination by contrast media rarely leads to hyperthyroidism. On account of these facts, prophylactic therapy, e.g. by perchlorate or thiamazole, is not generally recommended, because the risk of side-effects is perhaps even greater than the risk of iodine-induced thyrotoxicosis. (+info
Identification of thyroid hormone residues on serum thyroglobulin: a clue to the source of circulating thyroglobulin in thyroid diseases.
Thyroglobulin (Tg) present in the serum of normal individuals and patients with thyroid disorders could be partly newly synthesized non-iodinated Tg and partly Tg containing iodine and hormone residues originating from the lumen of thyroid follicles. With the aim of examining the contribution of the latter source of Tg to the elevation of serum Tg concentration in thyroid pathophysiological situations, we devised a procedure to identify thyroxine (T4) and tri-iodothyronine (T3) residues on Tg from unfractionated serum. A two-step method, basedon (i)adsorption of Tg on an immobilized anti-human Tg (hTg) monoclonal antibody (mAb) and (ii)recognition of hormone residues on adsorbed Tg by binding of radioiodinated anti-T4 mAb and anti-T3 mAb, was used to analyze serum Tg from patients with either Graves' disease (GD), subacute thyroiditis (ST) or metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). Purified hTg preparations with different iodine and hormone contents were used as reference. Adsorption of purified Tg and serum Tg on immobilized anti-hTg mAb ranged between 85 and 90% over a wide concentration range. Labeled anti-T4 and anti-T3 mAbs bound to adsorbed purified Tg in amounts related to its iodine content. Tg adsorbed from six out of six sera from ST exhibited anti-T4 and anti-T3 mAb binding activities. In contrast, significant mAb binding was only observed in one out of eight sera from untreated GD patients and in 1 out of 13 sera from patients with DTC. The patient with DTC, whose serum Tg contained T4 and T3, represented a case of hyperthyroidism caused by a metastatic follicular carcinoma. In conclusion, we have identified, for the first time, T4 and T3 residues on circulating Tg. The presence of Tg with hormone residues in serum is occasional in GD and DTC but is a common and probably distinctive feature of ST. (+info
Improved suppression by dietary taurine of the fecal excretion of bile acids from hypothyroid rats.
The effect of dietary taurine, 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, on hypercholesterolemia caused by thiouracil-induced hypothyroidism was investigated in hypothyroid rats. Serum total- and HDL-cholesterol were significantly increased, and the excretion of fecal bile acids was significantly decreased. Taurine did not change the hypercholesterolemia, but significantly recovered the excretion of bile acids. (+info
Effects of oral propylthiouracil treatment on nitric oxide production in rat aorta.
The effects of oral propylthiouracil (PTU) treatment on vascular nitric oxide (NO) production were studied in the rat aorta. Rats were fed a standard low fat diet with or without 0.1% PTU, for 2 or 4 weeks, or for 2 weeks with additional thyroxine injections. Concentration response curves were then constructed to phenylephrine (PE) in both endothelium-intact and denuded aortic rings from these animals and after incubation with 0.1 mM L-N(G)nitroarginine (L-NOARG). In addition, expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) was analysed in sections of aorta from PTU-treated and control rats using rabbit polyclonal antibodies to both inducible NOS (iNOS) and endothelial NOS (eNOS). Oral PTU treatment resulted in a significant reduction in both the maximum response (control, 0.53+/-0.02; 2 week PTU, 0.20+/-0.07; 4 week PTU, 0.07+/-0.02 g mg(-1)) and vessel sensitivity (EC50 values: control, 9.10x10(-8)+/-0.67; 2 week PTU, 7.45x10(-7)+/-1.15; 4 week PTU, 9.73x10(-7)+/-0.45 M) to PE in endothelium-intact vessel rings, as compared to controls (P<0.05). Both endothelial removal and incubation with L-NOARG restored the maximum response after 2, but not 4 weeks, although, in general, vessel sensitivity was not altered by either treatment. Vessels from PTU-treated rats given thyroxine injections showed no significant differences between any of the dose response curve parameters. Immunohistochemical analysis suggested that labelling for eNOS may be increased after PTU treatment as compared to control animals, whereas iNOS antibody immunoreactivity was not different between the two groups. These results suggest that the hyporesponsiveness to PE observed after oral PTU treatment is, in part, due to enhanced nitric oxide (NO) production by the endothelium, and demonstrate for the first time that thyroid hormones may play a role in the regulation of eNOS activity in the rat aorta. (+info
Remission of insulin autoimmune syndrome in a patient with Grave's disease by treatment with methimazole.
The patient, a 24-year-old man, had suffered from hunger, sweating, tachycardia and palpitation for three years. He was diagnosed as having Graves' disease (GD) and treated with methimazole (MMI) for 3 months. He noted that palpitation and perspiration seemed to particularly occur when he was hungry, and thus he was examined to determine whether these symptoms were caused by hypoglycemia. As a markedly elevated immunoreactive insulin level and the presence of insulin antibody in serum were found, he was diagnosed as having insulin autoimmune syndrome (IAS). HLA typing revealed the patient to be positive for group Bw62/Cw4/DR4, which is reportedly a specific HLA type in MMI-treated euthyoroid GD patients with IAS. In spite of the continuation of MMI treatment, the % binding of IRI decreased and the hypoglycemic episode disappeared. In contrast to the previously reported MMI induced IAS in GD cases, MMI is unlikely to have exacerbated IAS in the present case, although his HLA combination is identical to that of the previous cases. (+info
Hypercalcemia accompanied by hypothalamic hypopituitarism, central diabetes inspidus and hyperthyroidism.
We present here a case of prominent hypercalcemia accompanied by hypothalamic tumor and Graves' disease. A 24-year-old man with hypothalamic tumor showed hypopituitarism, central diabetes inspidus (DI) and hyperthyroidism. Nausea, loss of thirst and appetite, and general fatigue were found with the unveiling of hypercalcemia and hypernatremia. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) and 1alpha-dihydroxyvitamin D levels were suppressed with a normal range of PTH-related protein values. One-desamino-(8-D-arginine)-vasopressin (DDAVP) and half-saline administration normalized hypernatremia, while hypercalcemia was still sustained. Administration of cortisone acetate and thiamazole reduced the elevated serum Ca level. In the present case, concurrent hyperthyroidism was assumed to accelerate skeletal mobilization of calcium into the circulation. Hypocortisolism and central DI was also considered to contribute, to some extent, to the hypercalcemia through renal handling of Ca. (+info