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Occurrence of thyroid autoimmunity and dysfunction throughout a nine-month follow-up in patients undergoing interferon-beta therapy for multiple sclerosis.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of endocrinological investigation
Publication Date
Volume
21
Issue
11
Pages
748–752
Identifiers
PMID: 9972674
Source
Medline

Abstract

Thyroid autoimmunity and dysfunction are a well known side effect of IFN alpha therapy for viral hepatitis and tumors, while the IFN beta effects on the thyroid gland in neurological patients have not been studied. The aim of this longitudinal study was to look for the appearance of thyroid autoimmunity as well as for the occurrence of overt thyroid disease in the patients affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) treated with IFN beta 1b. Eight patients (4 males, 4 females) undergoing r-IFN beta 1b treatment (8 M.U. every other day for 9 months) for relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis entered the study. We have analyzed thyroid function parameters and auto antibody levels before and after 1, 2, 3, 6 and 9 months of therapy. None of them referred to familiar thyroid pathology or presented clinically overt thyroid disease except for one patient (case 4) who showed TPO-Ab pretreatment positivity and another (case 8) who was in therapy with Levothyroxine 100 microg/die for multinodular goiter. The number of patients with appearance of thyroid antibodies has slowly increased, until the third month of therapy with 3 patients out of 7 positive for TPO-Ab. The only case of overt thyroid dysfunction reported by us appeared after nine months of therapy and consisted of a hypothyroidism. Our data suggest that short-term interferon beta treatment is able to induce thyroid autoimmunity (42.8%) and dysfunction (12.5%).

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