Euthyroid women with autoimmune disease undergoing assisted reproduction technologies: the role of autoimmunity and thyroid function

R Negro, G Formoso, L Coppola, G Presicce, T Mangieri, A Pezzarossa, D Dazzi
Journal of Endocrinological Investigation 2007, 30 (1): 3-8

UNLABELLED: Thyroid dysfunction and the presence of thyroid antibodies increase the risk of infertility and miscarriage. The aim of the present study was to assess if patients with autoimmune thyroid disease undergoing assisted reproduction technologies (ART) are afflicted by poor pregnancy and/or delivery rate and if the outcome is conditioned by pre-ART thyroid status. The study was retrospective (from January 2000 to January 2005) and was carried out at the Division of Physiopathology of Human Reproduction. Women who underwent ART were tested for TSH, free T4 (FT4), thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) before and during pregnancy. A total of 416 euthyroid women were selected; 42 (10.1%) were TPOAb (+). Women >35 yr were excluded. The endpoints were pregnancy and delivery rates.

RESULTS: no differences in pregnancy and delivery rates were observed between women with and without antibodies. In TPOAb (+), women who failed to become pregnant or miscarried displayed higher TSH values before ART (2.8 mIU/l) compared to the ones who delivered (1.6 mIU/l; p=0.032) and compared to TPOAb (-) (1.1 mIU/l; p=0.018).

CONCLUSIONS: in euthyroid women undergoing ART the pregnancy and delivery rates are not affected by the presence of TPOAb. In TPOAb (+) high-normal TSH values are associated with increased risk of unsuccessful pregnancy or subsequent miscarriage. Further studies are required to ascertain possible benefits of levo-T4 (L-T4) in such patients.

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