Graves' disease: Diagnostic and therapeutic challenges (multimedia activity)

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Abstract

Graves' disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States. Graves' disease occurs more often in women with a female:male ratio of 5:1 and a population prevalence of 1% to 2%. A genetic determinant to the susceptibility to Graves' disease is suspected because of familial clustering of the disease, a high sibling recurrence risk, the familial occurrence of thyroid autoantibodies, and the 30% concordance in disease status between identical twins. Graves' disease is an autoimmune thyroid disorder characterized by the infiltration of immune effector cells and thyroid antigenspecific T cells into the thyroid and thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor expressing tissues, with the production of autoantibodies to well-defined thyroidal antigens, such as thyroid peroxidase, thyroglobulin, and the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor. The thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor is central to the regulation of thyroid growth and function. Stimulatory autoantibodies in Graves' disease activate the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor leading to thyroid hyperplasia and unregulated thyroid hormone production and secretion. Below-normal levels of baseline serum thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor, normal to elevated serum levels of T4, elevated serum levels of T3 and thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor autoantibodies, and a diffusely enlarged, heterogeneous, hypervascular (increased Doppler flow) thyroid gland confirm diagnosis of Graves' disease (available at: http://supplements.amjmed.com/2010/hyperthyroid/faculty.php). This Resource Center is also available through the website of The American Journal of Medicine (www.amjmed.com). Click on the "Thyroid/Graves' Disease" link in the "Resource Centers" section, found on the right side of the Journal homepage. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Kahaly, G. J., Grebe, S. K. G., Lupo, M. A., McDonald, N., & Sipos, J. A. (2011). Graves’ disease: Diagnostic and therapeutic challenges (multimedia activity). American Journal of Medicine. Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2011.03.001

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