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Open access

Ringo Manta, Charlotte Martin, Vinciane Muls, and Kris G Poppe

A 22-year-old male with a history of ulcerative colitis and nephrotic syndrome treated with immunomodulatory agents including vedolizumab and mycophenolic acid developed hyperthyroidism 2 weeks following the first administration of BNT162b2 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine). Graves’ disease (GD) was diagnosed based on the elevated thyrotropin-receptor antibody, thyroid scintigraphy and ultrasound. To this day, four cases of new-onset GD following SARS-CoV-2 vaccine were reported in patients with no previous history of thyroid disease. Two cases of recurrence of GD following SARS-CoV-2 vaccine were also reported. Although the underlying mechanisms of vaccine-induced autoimmunity remain to be clarified, there is a rationale for the association between SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and the development of Th1-mediated diseases, at least in predisposed individuals. The BNT162b2 vaccine could be a trigger for GD in some patients. However, the benefit/risk ratio remains by far in favour of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination considering the potentially higher risk of severe infection in these patients.

Open access

Georgiana Sitoris, Flora Veltri, Pierre Kleynen, Malika Ichiche, Serge Rozenberg, and Kris G Poppe

Objective

It is unknown if foetal gender influences maternal thyroid function during pregnancy. We therefore investigated the prevalence of thyroid disorders and determined first-trimester TSH reference ranges according to gender.

Methods

A cross-sectional study involving 1663 women with an ongoing pregnancy was conducted. Twin and assisted pregnancies and l-thyroxine or antithyroid treatment before pregnancy were exclusion criteria. Serum TSH, free T4 (FT4) and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) were measured at median (interquartile range; IQR) 13 (11–17) weeks of gestation. Subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) was present when serum TSH levels were >3.74 mIU/L with normal FT4 levels (10.29–18.02 pmol/L), and thyroid autoimmunity (TAI) was present when TPOAb were ≥60 kIU/L.

Results

Eight hundred and forty-seven women were pregnant with a female foetus (FF) and 816 with a male foetus (MF). In women without TAI and during the gestational age period between 9 and 13 weeks (with presumed high-serum hCG levels), median (IQR range) serum TSH in the FF group was lower than that in the MF group: 1.13 (0.72–1.74) vs 1.24 (0.71–1.98) mIU/L; P = 0.021. First-trimester gender-specific TSH reference range was 0.03–3.53 mIU/L in the FF group and 0.03–3.89 mIU/L in the MF group. The prevalence of SCH and TAI was comparable between the FF and MF group: 4.4% vs 5.4%; P = 0.345 and 4.9% vs 7.5%; P = 0.079, respectively.

Conclusions

Women pregnant with an MF have slightly but significantly higher TSH levels and a higher upper limit of the first-trimester TSH reference range, compared with pregnancies with a FF. We hypothesise that this difference may be related to higher hCG levels in women pregnant with a FF, although we were unable to measure hCG in this study. Further studies are required to investigate if this difference has any clinical relevance.

Open access

Georgiana Sitoris, Flora Veltri, Malika Ichiche, Pierre Kleynen, Jean-Philippe Praet, Serge Rozenberg, and Kris G Poppe

Objective

Pregnant women with autoimmune (subclinical) hypothyroidism have an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). However, this association remains controversial in euthyroid women with thyroid autoimmunity (TAI). Therefore, the aim of the study was to determine the association between TAI and GDM in euthyroid women in a logistic regression analysis with adjustments for baseline/demographic parameters.

Methods

Cross-sectional study in 1447 euthyroid women who performed their entire clinical/biological workup and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in our center. At median 13 (11–17) weeks of gestation, thyroid-stimulating hormone, free T4, and thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) were measured, baseline characteristics were recorded, and an OGTT was performed between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Exclusion criteria were pre-pregnancy diabetes, assisted pregnancies, and women with (treated) thyroid dysfunction before or after screening. The diagnosis of GDM was based on 2013 World Health Organization criteria, and TAI was defined as TPOAb levels ≥60 kIU/L.

Results

Two hundred eighty women were diagnosed with GDM (19.4%), 26.1% in women with TAI, and 18.9% in women without TAI (P  = 0.096). In the logistic regression analysis, TAI was associated with GDM in women older than 30 years (adjusted odds ratio 1.68 (95% CI, 1.01–2.78); P  = 0.048). Maternal age >30 years, pre-pregnancy BMI ≥30 kg/m2, and other than Caucasian background were also associated with GDM; aOR 1.93 (95% CI, 1.46–2.56); P  < 0.001, 2.03 (95% CI, 1.46–2.81); P  < 0.001 and 1.46 (95% CI, 1.03–2.06); P  = 0.034, respectively.

Conclusions

In older pregnant women, the presence of TAI in euthyroid women was associated with GDM. In line with the literature data, (higher) age and BMI were strongly associated with GDM. Future investigations should focus on treatments that might prevent the development of GDM in euthyroid women with TAI.