An association between Graves' disease (GD) and chronic hepatitis C (C-HC) has been observed both in the presence and the absence of recombinant interferon-alpha (rIFN-alpha) treatment. rIFN-alpha-induced GD is characterized by suppressed thyroid-stimulating hormone levels; normal or elevated free triiodothyronine (FT3) and free thyroxine (FT4) values; the presence of thyroid peroxidase antibodies, antithyroglobulin antibodies, and thyroid receptor antibodies; and high iodine thyroid uptake. In contrast, GD developed during C-HC without rIFN-alpha is less clearly defined. In this study, we examined two groups of patients: group A, 28 patients with C-HC treated with rIFN-alpha who developed GD after 1 to 9 months, and group B, 10 patients with C-HC who developed GD without a previous rIFN-alpha treatment. At the time of GD, both groups started methimazole therapy; thyroid function was reevaluated after 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Group A patients continued IFN. After 12 months, all patients of group A were euthyroid, and 21 of them (75%) had already stopped methimazole treatment, whereas all patients of group B were euthyroid and only 2 (20%) had stopped methimazole. In conclusion, the data show a better course of GD, with a more precocious and significantly higher number of recoveries in patients with rIFN-alpha-induced GD than in rIFN-alpha-unrelated disease. Further studies are needed to establish whether the two types of GD differ not only from a clinical point of view but also because of different underlying pathogenetic mechanisms.
Graves Disease In Interferon - Treated and Untreated Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection / ROBERTA MINELLI; VITTORIO COIRO; MARIA ANTONIETTA VALLI; LORENZO FINARDI; CLELIA DI SECL; ROBERTO BERTONI; DANIELE LA GIOIA; ANGELA LUCIANA BARILLI; CARLO FERRARI; GLORIA SACCANI JOTTI; DELSIGNORE R.. - In: JOURNAL OF INVESTIGATIVE MEDICINE. - ISSN 1081-5589. - 53(2005), pp. 26-30. [10.2310/6650.2005.00002]