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To investigate the potential detection rate of anti-thyroid antibodies' (ATAbs) positivity, thyroid dysfunctions, and autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs) in autoimmune encephalitis (AE) and to analyze whether thyroid autoimmunity/dysfunction can affect the clinical course of AE. Two hundred twenty-one AE patients and 229 age- and sex-matched controls were included in this study. We measured the levels of ATAbs (anti-thyroglobulin antibodies [TgAb], anti-thyroid peroxidase anti-bodies [TPOAb]) and thyroid hormones in all the individuals. In addition, the association of thyroid autoimmunity/dysfunctions with functional outcomes of AE was identified by using logistic regression and Kaplan-Meier analyses. The prevalence of TPOAb-positive and TgAb-positive was significantly higher in AE patients (16.3% and 16.7%, respectively) as compared with controls (9.6% and 7.4%, respectively; P = 0.034 and P = 0.002, respectively). In addition, the free triiodothyronine (fT3) level was significantly lower in AE patients as compared to the controls (P < 0.001). However, the frequency of AITDs (Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Graves' disease) did not significantly differ between AE patients and control subjects. Importantly, low fT3 was found to be associated with poor functional outcomes at the 3-month follow-up in AE. Adjustment of potential confounders did not change the association. However, the presence of ATAbs did not significantly alert the disease course of AE. ATAbs-positive and/or AITD patients with symptomatic encephalopathy should undergo proper surveillance for AE. Moreover, low fT3 could serve as a possible predictor of poor short-term outcome in AE, thereby suggesting that monitoring of thyroid function in AE may be necessary. © 2022. Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia.


Jing-Fang Lin, Jie-Rui Wang, Jia-Qi Wang, Jin-Mei Li. The detection of up-regulated anti-thyroid antibodies and autoimmune thyroid diseases in patients with autoimmune encephalitis: a retrospective study of 221 patients. Neurological sciences : official journal of the Italian Neurological Society and of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology. 2022 Jun;43(6):3901-3910

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PMID: 35137351

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