Glutamic acid decarboxylase (anti-GAD) & tissue transglutaminase (anti-TTG) antibodies in patients with thyroid autoimmunity.Indian J Med Res. 2013 Jan; 137(1):82-6.IJ
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES
Several autoimmune disorders have been reported to be associated with autoimmune thyroiditis and may coexist with other organ-specific autoantibodies. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the presence of tissue transglutaminase (anti-TTG) and glutamic acid decarboxylase (anti-GAD) antibodies in patients suffering from autoimmune thyroiditis as diagnosed by anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) antibodies, which may indicate high risk for developing celiac disease or type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Five thousand children and 2800 adults were screening as part of a general health examination done on a voluntary basis in four different parts of Delhi. A total of 577 subjects positive for anti-TPO antibody constituted the cases. Equal number of age and sex matched anti-TPO antibody negative controls were randomly selected from the same cohort to form paired case control study. The cases and controls were further divided into two groups as follows: group-1 (children and adolescent <18 yr), group-2 (adults >18 yr). Serum samples of cases and controls were analysed for thyroid function test (FT3, FT4, and TSH), anti-TTG and anti-GAD antibodies.
A total of 1154 subjects (577 cases and 577 controls) were included in this study. Hypothyroidism was present in 40.2 per cent (232) cases compared to only 4.7 per cent (27) in controls (P<0.001). Anti-TTG and anti-GAD antibodies were present in 6.9 and 12.5 per cent subjects among cases compared to 3.5 per cent (P=0.015) and 4.3 per cent (P=0.001) in controls, respectively. Only anti-GAD antibody were significantly positive in cases among children and adolescents (P =0.0044) and adult (P=0.001) compared to controls. Levels of anti-TTG and anti-GAD antibodies increased with increasing titre of anti-TPO antibody.
INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS
Our findings showed high positivity of anti-GAD and anti-TTG antibodies among subjects with thyroid autoimmunity. It is, therefore, important to have high clinical index of suspicion for celiac disease or type 1 diabetes mellitus in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis.