Background: Autoimmunes thyroiditis (AT) is the most common cause of thyroid diseases in children and adolescents with a peak in early to mid-puberty (prevalence of 0.31.2%). Previous studies showed a high rates of familiarity for autoimmune disease (AD) and co-existing autoimmunity in AT subjects.
Objective and hypotheses: Aim of our study is to investigate familiarity for AD and co-existing autoimmunity in a large cohort of pediatric AT patients.
Method: A cohort of 91 pediatric patients with AT from a single center was retrospective evaluated for the age at onset of AT, presence of additional autoimmune diseases at diagnosis or during the follow-up and history of autoimmunity within first and second degrees line.
Results: Mean age at diagnosis of AT was 9.74±2.65. Presence of additional AD occurred in 21 of the 91 AT patients (23.1%). The most common AD in our subjects were psoriasis (PS) (28.6%) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (28.6%), followed by muocoutaneous candidiasis (MC) (23.8%), vitiligo (VT) (14.3%), celiac disease (CD) (9.5%), autoimmune hepatitis (AH) (4.8%). Fourty-nine patients (53.8%) had first- and/or second-degree relatives affected with AD, in particular 26/49 children (53%) had a familial history of AT, 16 (32.6%) of PS, eight (16.3%) of RA, six (12.2%) of VT, five (10.2%) of alopecia areata, four (8.2%) of Graves disease, four (8.2%) of AH, three (6.1%) of MC, three (6.1%) of CD and two (4.1%) of onicodistrophy (OD). The latter is not an AD but is frequently associated with autoimmunity.
Conclusion: Our study documented a high rate of additional AD in children with AT and an increased prevalence of AD in first- and second-degree relatives. Therefore, an accurate follow-up for a prompt diagnosis of any additional AD is recommended in children with AT. Moreover, screening of autoimmunity in relatives should also be suggested.
18 Sep 2014 - 20 Sep 2014