Atrophic autoimmune thyroiditis (AAT) is a type of autoimmune hypothyroidism without goiter. TSH receptor-blocking antibodies (TSBAb) are involved in its etiology in adults. Reportedly, this disease is extremely rare in children. In this study, we aimed to investigate the prevalence of TSBAb during AAT onset in children using a commercially available cell-based bioassay TSAb kit. We conducted a multicenter retrospective observational study. We collected data of patients with AAT who were < 15 yr old, enrolled in a collaborative research group, and diagnosed since July 2003. AAT was defined as acquired autoimmune hypothyroidism without thyroid enlargement. Eighteen patients (including 15 females) whose TSH receptor antibody (TRAb) or TSBAb levels were measured within a year from the initial visit were included. The median age at diagnosis was 9.3 years, and the estimated time between onset and diagnosis was 2.6 yr. The positive rate for either TSBAb or TRAb was 38.8% (95% confidence interval: 18.3–59.5%). There were no significant differences in age, the estimated time between onset and diagnosis, and FT4 levels at diagnosis between the TSBAb-positive and-negative groups. Unlike previous reports, we showed that the prevalence of TSBAb-positivity in childhood-onset AATs is not rare, as in adults.
- Atrophic autoimmune thyroiditis
- Autoimmune hypothyroidism
- TSH receptor antibody
- TSH receptor-blocking antibody