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Endocr J. 2013;60(5):583-90. Epub 2013 Jan 5.

Thyroid disturbance related to chronic hepatitis C infection: role of CXCL10.

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Unidade de Tireóide, Laboratório de Endocrinologia Celular e Molecular, LIM 25, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Association between autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD) and hepatitis C is controversial, but may occur or worsen during alpha-interferon treatment. The mechanism responsible for autoimmune diseases in infected patients has not been fully elucidated. This study aims to evaluate the frequency of AITD in chronic hepatitis C and the association of chemokine (CXC motif) ligand 10 (CXCL10) and AITD. One hundred and three patients with chronic hepatitis C and 96 controls were prospectively selected to clinical, hormonal, thyroid autoimmunity and ultrasound exams, besides thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) and CXCL10 measurements and hepatic biopsies. The frequency of AITD among infected subjects was similar to controls. TT3 and TT4 distributions were right shifted, as was TBG, which correlated to both of them. Thyroid heterogeneity and hypoechogenicity were associated with AITD. Increased vascularization was more prevalent in chronic hepatitis C.CXCL10 was higher in infected patients (p=0.007) but was not related to thyroid dysfunction. Increase in CXCL10 levels were consistent with hepatic necroinflammatory activity (p=0.011). In summary, no association was found between chronic hepatitis C and AITD. Infected subjects had higher TT3 and TT4 which were correlated to TBG. Increased CXCL10 was not associated to thyroid dysfunction in HCV-infected population.

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