Journal of the Endocrine Society Journal Article

Clinical Course of TRAb-positive Subjects

May 24, 2021
 

Nami Suzuki, Akiko Kawaguchi, Jaeduk Yoshimura Noh, Ran Yoshimura, Kentaro Mikura, Aya Kinoshita, Ai Suzuki, Takako Mitsumatsu, Ayako Hoshiyama, Miho Fukushita, Masako Matsumoto, Ai Yoshihara, Natsuko Watanabe, Kiminori Sugino, Koichi Ito
Journal of the Endocrine Society, Volume 5, Issue 6, June 2021, bvab042
https://doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvab042

Abstract

Background

Thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibody (TRAb) is detected in the serum of patients with Graves’ disease (GD). This study aims to investigate the prevalence of euthyroid individuals showing positive results for TRAb and to clarify the clinical course of thyroid function and TRAb levels in these subjects.

Objective

Subjects were female patients who newly visited our hospital for a screening test prior to fertility treatment and showed normal thyroid function and volume without nodules between 2014 and 2017. After excluding subjects with a history of thyroid disease, 5,622 subjects were analyzed.

Results

Forty-seven of the 5,622 subjects showed positive results for TRAb (reference range, <2.0 IU/L) at the initial visit. Median initial TRAb was 2.9 IU/L (range, 2.0–14.7 IU/L) and median follow-up was 18.3 months (range, 0–66.5 months). Six of the 47 subjects (12.8%) developed GD and median duration until development was 6.6 months (range, 1.2–13.2 months). Median TRAb values initially and at diagnosis of GD for those 6 patients were 3.7 IU/L (range, 2.7–5.1 IU/L) and 7.2 IU/L (range 3.6–21.4 IU/L), respectively. TRAb results turned negative for 20 of the 47 subjects but remained positive despite normal thyroid function in 13 of the 47 subjects.

Conclusion

GD developed over time in 12.8% of euthyroid young female patients showing positive TRAb within a median of 6.6 months. A positive result for TRAb itself did not mean development of GD, so other factors must be essential for the pathogenesis of GD.

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