More MS news articles for Nov 2001

Thyroid function and anti-thyroid antibodies in MS patients screened for interferon treatment. A multicenter study

J Neurol Sci 2001 Dec 15;193(1):17-22
Durelli L, Oggero A, Verdun E, Isoardo GL, Barbero P, Bergamasco B, Brossa PC, Ghigo E, Maccario M, Faggiano F.
Clinica Neurologica, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Universita' di Torino, Via Cherasco 15, Ospedale S. Giovanni Battista, 10121, Turin, Italy

Interferon beta (IFNB) treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) has been associated with thyroid disorders (TD), in particular in patients with subclinical TD or anti-thyroid (AT) autoantibodies (autoAb) before starting treatment.

TD and AT autoAb frequency was reported increased in MS.

To determine whether MS patients have subclinical thyroid function abnormalities or anti-thyroid autoimmunity predisposing to develop TD, we performed a prospective multicenter screening of thyroid function and autoimmunity in 152 relapsing-remitting (RR) MS patients selected to receive IFNB treatment and in 437 healthy normothyroidal controls.

Thyroid-related hormones and anti-thyroid microsomal antigen (anti-TMA) autoAb were tested with sensitive immunoradiometric or chromatographic assays. Cases were stratified for different progressively decreasing or increasing cutoff values of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) (0.3, 0.2, 0.1, 3 and 5 mIU/l), and odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) calculated using logistic regression adjusted for gender, age, and anti-TMA autoAb positivity.

The frequency of cases below or above the TSH cutoff values was not significantly different in MS patients and controls, and the risk to have an abnormal TSH level was not significantly increased in MS patients (OR ranging 0.37-0.84; CI, 0.05-3.01), even if anti-TMA autoAb positive (OR ranging 0.35-0.85; CI, 0.04-3.00).

Frequencies of subclinical hypothyroidism and of anti-TMA autoAb positivity were, however, trending higher in MS men (ranging 5-7%) than in controls (3%).

MS patients do not have an increased risk of subtle thyroid function abnormalities, subclinical TD, or anti-TMA autoAb positivity that may predispose to develop thyroid dysfunction during IFNB treatment.

The positive trend for subclinical hypothyroidism and anti-TMA autoAb positivity, however, advises a longitudinal study of thyroid function and autoimmunity during IFNB treatment to see whether patients with baseline subclinical thyroid dysfunction develop clinically significant alteration during treatment.

PMID: 11718745 [PubMed - in process]