JOURNAL ARTICLE

Persistent Graves' hyperthyroidism despite rapid negative conversion of thyroid-stimulating hormone-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin assay results: a case report

Nobumasa Ohara, Masanori Kaneko, Masaru Kitazawa, Yasuyuki Uemura, Shinichi Minagawa, Masashi Miyakoshi, Kenzo Kaneko, Kyuzi Kamoi
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2017 February 6, 11 (1): 32
28162094

BACKGROUND: Graves' disease is an autoimmune thyroid disorder characterized by hyperthyroidism, and patients exhibit thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibody. The major methods of measuring circulating thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibody include the thyroid-stimulating hormone-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin assays. Although the diagnostic accuracy of these assays has been improved, a minority of patients with Graves' disease test negative even on second-generation and third-generation thyroid-stimulating hormone-binding inhibitory immunoglobulins. We report a rare case of a thyroid-stimulating hormone-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin-positive patient with Graves' disease who showed rapid lowering of thyroid-stimulating hormone-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin levels following administration of the anti-thyroid drug thiamazole, but still experienced Graves' hyperthyroidism.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 45-year-old Japanese man presented with severe hyperthyroidism (serum free triiodothyronine >25.0 pg/mL; reference range 1.7 to 3.7 pg/mL) and tested weakly positive for thyroid-stimulating hormone-binding inhibitory immunoglobulins on second-generation tests (2.1 IU/L; reference range <1.0 IU/L). Within 9 months of treatment with oral thiamazole (30 mg/day), his thyroid-stimulating hormone-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin titers had normalized, but he experienced sustained hyperthyroidism for more than 8 years, requiring 15 mg/day of thiamazole to correct. During that period, he tested negative on all first-generation, second-generation, and third-generation thyroid-stimulating hormone-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin assays, but thyroid scintigraphy revealed diffuse and increased uptake, and thyroid ultrasound and color flow Doppler imaging showed typical findings of Graves' hyperthyroidism.

CONCLUSIONS: The possible explanations for serial changes in the thyroid-stimulating hormone-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin results in our patient include the presence of thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibody, which is bioactive but less reactive on thyroid-stimulating hormone-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin assays, or the effect of reduced levels of circulating thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antibody upon improvement of thyroid autoimmunity with thiamazole treatment. Physicians should keep in mind that patients with Graves' disease may show thyroid-stimulating hormone-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin assay results that do not reflect the severity of Graves' disease or indicate the outcome of the disease, and that active Graves' disease may persist even after negative results on thyroid-stimulating hormone-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin assays. Timely performance of thyroid function tests in combination with sensitive imaging tests, including thyroid ultrasound and scintigraphy, are necessary to evaluate the severity of Graves' disease and treatment efficacy.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
28162094
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"