AUTOIMMUNE THYROID DISEASE IN PATIENTS WITH VITILIGO: PREVALENCE STUDY IN INDIA

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Abstract

Objective:

To identify the prevalence of autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) in Asian Indian patients with vitiligo and to compare the clinical profile between thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibody-positive and TPO antibodynegative groups.

Methods:

In this cross-sectional, case-controlled study, 50 patients with vitiligo (29 women and 21 men) were included. Patients with previous disorders, irradiation, or surgical procedures involving the thyroid were excluded from the study. All participants underwent a complete physical examination, and a single fasting blood sample was analyzed for thyroid function (triiodothyronine, thyroxine, thyroid-stimulating hormone, and TPO and thyroglobulin antibodies), inflammatory and immunologic markers (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, and rheumatoid factor), and serum calcium, phosphorus, and alkaline phosphatase concentrations. All patients underwent thyroid ultrasonography, and the data were analyzed by appropriate statistical methods.

Results:

The mean age of the study participants was 42.7 ± 17 years, and 14 of 50 patients (28%) had TPO antibody positivity. A goiter was present in 11 of 50 patients, and the thyroid volume by ultrasonography was similar between the 2 groups. Subclinical hypothyroidism was found in 14 of 50 patients (28%) but more frequently in the TPO antibody-positive group (8 of 14 or 57%) than in the TPO antibody-negative group (6 of 36 or 17%). The prevalence of AITD was 20 of 50 patients (40%) when the TPO antibody-positive group and those with subclinical hypothyroidism were considered collectively. None of the patients had overt hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. All other clinical, biochemical, and inflammatory variables did not differ significantly between the TPO antibody-positive and antibody-negative groups.

Conclusion:

Our data showed a 40% prevalence of thyroid disease in patients with vitiligo in India. The risk is exacerbated in patients with thyroid autoimmunity; thus, regular screening of patients with vitiligo for AITD is needed. (Endocr Pract. 2012;18:194-199)

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