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(1/179) Childhood Graves' ophthalmopathy: results of a European questionnaire study.

OBJECTIVE: Evaluation of the frequency of Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO) and its management in children and adolescents up to 18 years old with Graves' hyperthyroidism. STUDY DESIGN: This was a questionnaire study (QS) among members of the European Thyroid Association and the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology. Approximately 300 QS were sent to members with electronic addresses and 110 QS were returned from 25 countries: 52 respondents said they had no experience with Graves' disease in this age group, but 67 respondents (23 paediatric and 44 adult endocrinologists) completed the QS. RESULTS: Out of 1963 patients with juvenile Graves' hyperthyroidism seen by respondents in the last 10 years, 641 (33%) had GO; about one-third of GO cases were < or =10 years old, and two-thirds were 11-18 years old. The prevalences of GO among juvenile Graves' hyperthyroidism were 36.6, 27.3 and 25.9% in countries in which the smoking prevalence among teenagers was > or =25, 20-25 and <20% respectively (P < 0.0001 by chi(2) test). When confronted with the standard case of a 13-year-old girl with Graves' hyperthyroidism and moderately severe active GO, the diagnostic approach included on average 4.9 biochemical tests (TSH, free thyroxine (FT(4)) and TSH.R-Ab, 100-88% of respondents) and 2.4 specific investigations (thyroid ultrasound by 69%, orthopsy/visual fields/visual acuity by 64% and orbital magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography by 63%). Antithyroid drugs were the treatment of choice for 94% of respondents; 70% recommended a wait-and-see policy and 28% corticosteroids for the co-existing GO. In variants of the standard case, a younger age did not affect therapeutic approach very much. Recurrent hyperthyroidism would still be treated with antithyroid drugs by 66%, and with (131)I by 25%. Worsening of GO or active GO when euthyroid would convince about two-thirds of respondents to initiate treatment of GO, preferably with steroids. CONCLUSION: GO occurs in 33% of patients with juvenile Graves' hyperthyroidism; its prevalence is higher in countries with a higher prevalence of smoking among teenagers. The diagnostic approach to the standard case of a 13-year-old with Graves' hyperthyroidism and moderately severe active GO involves on average five biochemical tests; thyroid as well as orbital imaging is done in 84% of cases. Antithyroid drugs remain the treatment of choice for 94% of respondents, and even so in case of recurrences (66%). For GO, 70% recommend a wait-and-see policy; intervention, preferably with steroids, is advocated by two-thirds of respondents in cases of worsening or still-active eye disease despite euthyroidism.  (+info)

(2/179) Combined orbital irradiation and systemic steroids compared with systemic steroids alone in the management of moderate-to-severe Graves' ophthalmopathy: a preliminary study.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy and safety of combined orbital irradiation and systemic steroids in the management of moderate-to-severe Graves' ophthalmopathy. DESIGN: Single-blind randomised prospective study. SETTING: Regional hospital, Hong Kong. PATIENTS: Sixteen patients with active moderate-to-severe Graves' ophthalmopathy who were randomly assigned to steroid therapy (ST group) or combination therapy of orbital irradiation and systemic steroids (SRT group) between June 2000 and June 2003. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: NOSPECS scoring system, total eye score, subjective eye score, and extra-ocular muscle thickness as determined by either computed tomographic or magnetic resonance imaging scans. RESULTS: The study was completed by 15 of 16 patients. Both groups experienced improvement in total eye score, soft tissue swelling, ocular motility, visual acuity, and subjective eye score at 52-week follow-up. Total eye score improved earlier in the SRT group, achieving statistical significance (P<0.05) at as early as 4 weeks of follow-up. Improvement in ocular parameters was greater and led to a significantly greater reduction in total eye score than in the ST group at weeks 16, 24, and 52. Maximum extra-ocular muscle thickness was significantly reduced in the SRT group only. No change was observed in proptosis in either group. No serious adverse effect was observed with the addition of orbital irradiation to steroid therapy. CONCLUSION: A combination of orbital irradiation and systemic steroids is well tolerated and more effective than steroids alone in the treatment of active moderate-to-severe Graves' ophthalmopathy. It achieves greater and more rapid improvement in soft tissue swelling, ocular motility, and visual acuity.  (+info)

(3/179) Autologous T-lymphocytes stimulate proliferation of orbital fibroblasts derived from patients with Graves' ophthalmopathy.

PURPOSE: Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO) affects 50% to 60% of patients with Graves' hyperthyroidism, resulting in exophthalmos, periorbital edema, pain, double vision, optic neuropathy, and loss of vision. Fibroblasts are a key autoimmune target in GO and have effector functions that contribute to GO-associated pathologic conditions, including proliferation, production of excess glycosaminoglycans, and fat deposition. GO is also characterized by autoimmune inflammation of orbital connective tissue with mononuclear cell infiltration, including T cells. METHODS: To determine whether autologous T cells can drive proliferation of orbital fibroblasts and thus contribute to GO, a novel reverse autologous mixed-cell reaction (rAMCR) was performed. Fibroblasts cultured from orbital tissue of patients with GO that was removed during orbital decompression surgery were mixed with autologous T cells, and fibroblast proliferation was determined. RESULTS: Autologous T cells stimulated proliferation of orbital fibroblasts. Fibroblasts derived from blepharoplasty fat of two different patients did not proliferate, demonstrating that the effect is specific to cells derived from deep orbital fat. Proliferation was dependent on cell contact and on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II and CD40-CD154 (CD40 ligand) signaling. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that T cells and orbital fibroblasts participate in an antigen-dependent positive feedback loop in which presentation of autoantigens by fibroblasts via MHC class II and CD40-CD40L signaling results in T-cell activation. These activated T cells stimulate fibroblast proliferation, leading to fibroblast-associated diseases in GO. Thus, therapies that interfere with CD40-CD40L signaling, antigen expression by fibroblasts, or T-cell function may be effective in preventing progression of GO symptoms.  (+info)

(4/179) Assays for thyroid-stimulating antibodies and thyrotropin-binding inhibitory immunoglobulins in children with Graves' disease.

Studies on thyrotropin receptor autoantibodies (TRAb) by measurement of both thyroid-stimulating antibodies (TSAb) and thyrotropin-binding inhibitory immunoglobulins (TBII) in serum from children with Graves' disease are limited in number of studies. The aim of this study was to investigate the levels of serum TSAb and TBII in children with Graves' disease, and to evaluate the clinical significance of these antibodies. We measured the serum TSAb and TBII at diagnosis and during management in 65 children with Graves' disease. Patients were divided into four groups according to their metabolic state: those with untreated active Graves' disease, those receiving treatment with antithyroid drugs, those in remission, and those in relapse. At diagnosis, both TSAb and TBII assays had high sensitivities and high specificities. In follow-up, the levels of both TSAb and TBII paralleled the course of the disease. There was a strong positive correlation between TSAb and TBII. TBII levels were significantly higher in the patients with ophthalmopathy than those without ophthalmopathy in untreated Graves' children. It was concluded that TSAb and TBII measurements are valuable in the diagnosis and management of children with Graves' disease.  (+info)

(5/179) An infant case of Graves' disease with ophthalmopathy.

Graves' disease is a rare disorder in children, particularly in infants. Ocular manifestations of Graves' disease in children are even more rare and are mild compared to adults. We report a 3-year-old girl with Graves' ophthalmopathy who visited our clinic because of lacrimation. Her family had also noticed exophthalmos, goiter, irritability and increased appetite for more than 3 months. The ophthalmologist noted bilateral proptosis, eyelid erythema, lacrimation, entropion of the lower eyelid, and superficial keratitis. Her serum concentrations of free thyroxine and free triiodothyronine were high, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) was low. Serum samples were markedly positive for antibodies to TSH receptor (TRAb) and thyroid-stimulating antibody (TSAb). Although hyperthyroidism was controlled with propylthiouracil within 3 weeks, her eye signs did not improve. We administered methylprednisolone pulse therapy for ophthalmopathy, but the effect was limited and the lacrimation due to entropion and superficial keratitis persisted. Titers of both TRAb and TSAb decreased slightly and transiently with the pulse therapy. One year later, both titers remained high and eye signs did not improve any more though she was clinically euthyroid. This might indicate that both TRAb and TSAb levels correlate with the clinical course. Therefore, TRAb or TSAb might be good indicators of progress of Graves' ophthalmopathy. Ocular manifestations of Graves' disease should be followed closely with measurements of both TRAb and TSAb even in infant cases.  (+info)

(6/179) Euthyroid Graves' ophthalmopathy with negative autoantibodies.

Graves' disease is an autoimmune-based hyperthyroidism in which a number of different antibodies directed against thyroid tissue plays a role. Graves' ophthalmopathy is thought to be a consequence of this autoimmune basis and occurs in some patients with Graves' disease. On occasional cases, the disease may present only with ophthalmopathy without hyperthyroidism. A 32-year-old woman with euthyroid Graves' ophthalmopathy and negative thyroid autoantibodies, including TSH receptor antibody, is presented here.  (+info)

(7/179) Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis in monozygotic twins: case study as well as transcriptomic and immunohistological analysis of thyroid tissues.

OBJECTIVE: To report on the rare simultaneous occurrence of Graves' disease (GD) and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) in monozygotic twins. DESIGN: We compared the pattern of thyroid tissue-derived cDNAs to gain insight into previous and ongoing immune destruction and reconstruction processes using microarrays. The results were confirmed by immunohistology and real-time PCR. RESULTS: Destruction of thyroid tissue in HT reduced levels of thyrocyte-related cDNAs and cDNAs encoding extracellular matrix components, but increased levels of proteases involved in extracellular matrix degradation compared with GD. Lymphocytic infiltrates forming ectopic follicles replaced the thyroid tissue almost completely in HT. Thus, lymphocyte-related cDNA levels were higher in HT than in GD. The same was true for many chemokines and their receptors, which not only enable migration towards the thyroid but also maintain the lymphocytic infiltrate. HT also showed increased levels of cDNAs encoding molecules related to apoptosis than did GD. Surprisingly, the Th1- and Th2-specific cytokine profiles suggested for HT and GD respectively could not be confirmed. cDNAs encoding factors and receptors involved in angiogenesis were increased in GD compared with HT. CONCLUSIONS: Comparison of gene expression reflects the cellular differences between the two types of autoimmune thyroid disease in twins with identical genetic and similar environmental background.  (+info)

(8/179) Effect of high dose methylprednisolone pulse therapy followed by oral prednisolone administration on the production of anti-TSH receptor antibodies and clinical outcome in Graves' disease.

Little is known about the immunosuppressive effect of glucocorticoids on TSH receptor antibodies. We observed the long-term prognosis and serum TSH binding inhibitor immunoglobulin (TBII) levels in patients with Graves' ophthalmopathy who had received intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy (pulse therapy) followed by oral prednisolone administration in order to ascertain how long the immunosuppressive effect of glucocorticoids continued. This is the first report on the effect of pulse therapy on Graves' disease outcome. We observed 67 patients who were treated by antithyroid drugs (ATD) alone for 2 years after pulse therapy. TBII was evaluated before and 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after pulse therapy. The mean TBII decreased significantly 3 months after pulse therapy (p<0.001), and was maintained until 24 months. There were 24 patients whose TBII was positive (>15%) at 24 months, in whom the mean TBII decreased significantly 3 to 6 months after pulse therapy (p<0.001), but increased again at 12 to 24 months (p<0.05). Thus, the immunosuppressive effect of glucocorticoids may be lost at 12 months after pulse therapy in these patients. The remission rate in the pulse therapy group was 40.98%, and that of the control patient group was 48.57%. There was no significant difference between the two. These results suggest that the immunosuppressive effect of pulse therapy was temporary, and that pulse therapy did not increase remission rate of Graves' disease.  (+info)