TITLE

Autoimmune thyroiditis in antinuclear antibody positive children without rheumatologic disease

AUTHOR(S)
Torok, Kathryn S.; Arkachaisri, Thaschawee
PUB. DATE
January 2010
SOURCE
Pediatric Rheumatology;2010, Vol. 8, p15
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: Children are commonly referred to a pediatric rheumatology center for the laboratory finding of an Antinuclear antibody (ANA) of undetermined significance. Previous studies regarding adult rheumatology patients have supported an association between ANA and anti-thyroid antibodies, with the prevalence of thyroid antibodies being significantly higher in patients referred to a rheumatology center for an ANA without evidence of connective tissue disease compared to the general population. The purpose of the present study was to determine the frequency of thyroid antibodies in children referred to a pediatric rheumatology center for a positive ANA without evidence of a connective tissue disease. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed on children who were referred to our pediatric rheumatology center between August 2003 and March 2007 for positive ANA with concurrent thyroid antibody and thyroid function tests performed who did not fulfill criteria for a specific connective tissue disease. Laboratory and clinical features were recorded and analyzed. Mean and standard deviation were used to describe continuous data. Chi-square or Fisher's exact tests were used to compare proportions between variables. Results: One-hundred and four ANA-positive patients with concurrent thyroid studies were evaluated (88% female, 93% Caucasian, mean age 11.9 ± 4.0 years). Half of patients had an ANA titer ⩾ 1:320. The ANA pattern was speckled in 60% of the patients. Thyroid antibodies were detected in 30% of the patients. Anti-Thyroglobulin (ATG) was detected in 29% and Anti-thyroid peroxidase (ATPO) in 21% of the patients; of these children, 14% had hypothyroidism. ANA pattern and titer were not associated with anti-thyroid antibody positivity. Conclusion: Thyroid antibodies associated with chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, ATG and ATPO, were detected significantly higher in ANA-positive children without a rheumatologic condition (30%) as compared to the general pediatric population (1.3 - 3.4%). ANA titer and pattern did not help predict the presence or absence of thyroid antibodies. Given the high frequency of thyroid antibodies and increased risk of developing hypothyroidism over time, routine evaluation of ATG and ATPO with thyroid function tests in ANA-positive children is recommended.
ACCESSION #
51878898

 

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