Eye signs and serum eye muscle and collagen XIII antibodies in patients with transient and progressive thyroiditis

Bamini Gopinath, Gary Ma, Jack R. Wall*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There have been reports of the development of ophthalmopathy in patients with subacute thyroiditis (SAT) in the absence of Graves' disease and thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSH-r) antibodies. Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalences of eye and eyelid signs and positive eye muscle and collagen XIII antibody tests in patients with SAT and silent thyroiditis (ST) and in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) as chronic thyroiditis controls. Design: Ophthalmopathy was classified as Nunery type 1 (orbital inflammation, proptosis, without restrictive myopathy) or Nunery type 2 (with restrictive myopathy). We tested for antibodies against calsequestrin, flavoprotein (Fp), G2s, and collagen XIII in 5 patients with SAT, 6 with ST, and 11 with HT, and in 12 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects, using an optimized and standardized enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Main outcome: At the first visit, eye signs were found in two patients with SAT, one with type 1 ophthalmopathy and one with type 2 ophthalmopathy, and in three patients with ST, two with type 1 ophthalmopathy and one with dominant upper eyelid retraction only. Later in the course of their illness, one other patient with ST developed mild type 1 disease, giving an overall prevalence of any eye signs of 50% in patients with TT. Five patients with HT had mild type 1 ophthalmopathy and dominant upper eyelid retraction. One or more eye muscle antibodies were detected in three patients with SAT, four with ST, and seven with HT, of which calsequestrin and Fp antibodies were the most commonly found. TSH-r antibodies were detected in only one patient with ST, at the time when she developed Graves' hyperthyroidism following an episode of ST. Conclusion: The development of mild, but definite, ophthalmopathy or dominant upper eyelid retraction in patients with TT and chronic (Hashimoto's) thyroiditis in the absence of TSH-r antibodies or Graves' hyperthyroidism is an interesting observation that should be further addressed in larger groups of patients, including those with postpartum thyroiditis. These preliminary findings also raise questions about the mechanism for the link between ophthalmopathy and thyroid autoimmunity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1129
Number of pages7
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


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