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Crit Rev Immunol. 1994;14(2):157-91.

Autoimmunity against thyroid hormones.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, Gifu University School of Medicine, Japan.


The presence of thyroid hormone autoantibodies (THAA) is a common phenomenon. More than 270 cases have been reported by the end of 1993 involving not only thyroidal but also nonthyroidal disorders. Clinically, THAA in a patient's serum produces variation in thyroid hormone metabolism and, in particular, may interfere with the radioimmunoassay (RIA) results of total or free thyroid hormone measurements, which can cause unusually high or low values of the hormones depending on the B/F separation method used. This in vitro interference can give clinicians confusing information about the patient's thyroid state. As a result, the patient may receive inappropriate treatment from physicians who are unaware of this disorder. The presence of THAA has been reported not only in humans but also in dogs, chickens, and rats. In this review article, clinical features of THAA and the mechanism of autoantibody production are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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