Lupus and APS – an indicator of increased risk of autoimmune thyroid disease?
It has been known for some time that Hashimoto thyroiditis, also known as autoimmune thyroid disease, can occur together with other autoimmune diseases. For the first time, a study has scientifically established the relationship between Hashimoto thyroiditis and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS).
Today I have taken a more thorough look at this study for you. Although the study isn’t hot off the press, I find the results to be so interesting that I would like to pass them along to you.At the end of this blog post you will find a link by which you can download an extensive summary as a Research Update in PDF format.
The study examined 75 APS patients. In addition to antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) 35 of these individuals also exhibited symptoms of lupus (APS-SLE). Appropriate control groups were selected in parallel. The blood of all study participants was tested for antibodies against thyroglobulin (anti-TG) and antibodies against thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO).
The result: neither APS patients nor SLE patients had anti-TPO or anti-TG antibodies detected more frequently than healthy individuals – which was expected.
However, things were different for the patients with APS as well as lupus symptoms, the APS-SLE patients. Here both anti-TPO and anti-TG antibodies were detected significantly more often. Strikingly, these patients had demonstrated the neurological symptoms of APS (headaches, migraines, epilepsy…) in the past far more frequently than those APS patients without the antibodies.
The authors basically reached two conclusions from their results: According to their results, SLE-APS patients are clearly at a higher risk of autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto thyroiditis). The authors thus propose to generally test antiphospholipid patients with neurological manifestations of the disease for anti-TPO and anti-TG antibodies. This may allow possible autoimmune thyroid disease to be recognized and treated in a timely fashion, say the authors.
I have provided the PDF version of this Research Updatehere…
Author of this article: Tobias Stolzenberg
Mavragani CP, Danielides S, Zintzaras E, Vlachoyiannopoulos PG, Moutsopoulos HM. Antithyroid antibodies in antiphospholipid syndrome: prevalence and clinical associations. Concise Report. Lupus 2009;18,1096-1099. – abstract