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Original Article The Relationship between Graves' Disease and Serum Immunoglobulin-E.
Hyun Young Kim, Ki Ryong Park, Seoung Hoon Kim, Jee Yeon Kim, Soo Keun Song, Young Sik Choi, Yo Han Park
Endocrinology and Metabolism 2002;17(5):640-648
DOI: https://doi.org/
Published online: October 1, 2002
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Department of Internal Medicine, Kosin University College of Medicine, Pusan, Korea. yschoi@ns.kosinmed.or.kr

It is widely believed that Graves' disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the presence of the circulating TSH receptor antibody (TRAb). The majority of the activity of TRAb is of the immunoglobulin G (IgG) class. However, other immunoglobulin such as immunoglobulin E (IgE), may play a role in the activity. IgE accumulation has been reported to occur in the thyroid gland and ocular muscles of subjects with Graves' disease. Furthermore, it has been noted that recurrence of Graves' disease can be induced by an allergy to pollen. Because an allergy to pollen is commonly associated with IgE, IgE might play a role in the induction of Graves' disease. Therefore, investigated whether IgE was elevated in Graves' disease, and evaluated the potential relationship between the levels of TRAb and IgE Graves' disease. METHODS: Forty-six patients with Graves' disease, and 6 with chronic thyroiditis, diagnosed at the Kosin Medical Center between April, 2000 and July, 2000 were included in this study. Thirty-five persons without thyroid disease or a history of allergic rhinitis were used as normal controls. The level of TRAb was measured using thyrotropin binding inhibitory immunoglobulin (TBII). Serum total IgE was measured using an enzymeimmunoassay method. Test for thyroid function, TBII and total IgE were performed in all cases, and the results statistically analyzed. RESULTS: TBII, as IgG, and the serum IgE level were higher in the patients with Graves' disease, and the levels of the latter were 598.1+/-1112.9U/mL, 98.5+/-79.7U/mL and controls 161.7+/-194.4U/mL in the Graves' patients, those with thyroiditis and the controls, respectively (p<0.05). The prevalence of allergic rhinitis in Graves' disease was 10.9%. The serum IgE level in Graves' disease with, and without, allergic rhinitis were 903.1+/-1152.2U/mL and 560.8+/-1117.0U/mL, respectively, although there was no significancant difference between the two groups. According to the clinical stage, the serum TBII level was higher in the untreated Graves', and relapsed patients 49.9+/-23.9% and 21.1+/-3.1%, respectively, than in the treated group, 7.4+/-18.6% (p<0.05). The serum IgE level was higher in the untreated Graves' and relapsed patients 758.6+/-1250.2U/mL and 1198.5+/-1952.1U/mL, respectively, than in the treated group 233.8+/-432.7U/mL, although this was not significant. According to the duration of treatment, the serum TBII levels were higher in the untreated Graves' patients, and those treated for less than 1 year, than in those treated for more than 1 year, with values of 49.9+/-23.9, 24.8+/-3.8 and 2.22+/-1.97%, respectively (p<0.05). The serum IgE level was higher in the untreated Graves' disease (758.6+/-1250.2U/mL) than in the groups treated for less than 12 months (158.3+/-91.5U/mL) and more than 12 months (252.7+/-483.4U/mL), but the differences were not significant. CONCLUSIONS: The concentration of IgE was high in Graves' patients, and although not statistically significant, the serum IgE level in Graves' patients with allergic rhinitis was higher than those without. With regard to the clinical stage of Graves' disease, the change in the IgE level tended to follow that of the TBII. Further study will be required to define the possible role of IgE in the pathogenesis in Graves' disease.

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