Graves' ophthalmopathy is an organ-specific autoimmune disorder in which the target organs are infiltrated by T lymphocytes and polymorphonuclear neutrophils that release immunoregulatory cytokines in the thyroid and retrobulbar tissues. Th2-type cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, IL-6) support the inflammatory symptoms and immunoglobulin production, e.g. IgE isotype. IgE is thought to play a part not only in allergy but also in the normal immune responses, antigen processing and presentation. Since studies report IgE accumulation around the extraocular muscles in ophthalmopathy and a correlation between the total IgE levels and the severity of ophthalmopathy in Graves' disease, we measured the total IgE levels in 56 patients with Graves' disease (associated with ophthalmopathy in 47 patients) and in 42 healthy subjects as controls to determine if IgE plays a part in the autoimmune or the local inflammatory processes. For detection we used the Enzymun-Test IgE, which was a two-step ELISA sandwich assay. Elevated circulating IgE levels could be demonstrated in non-treated hyperthyroid Graves' patients in comparison with the controls (51.02 +/- 113.16 IU/ml vs 34.95 +/- 54.91 IU/ml, P < 0.01). The IgE levels were higher in patients with active inflammatory eye signs (63.65 +/- 130.41 IU/ml) than in controls (P < 0.007). The anti-thyroid drug and glucocorticoid management decreased the total IgE levels, and the difference was significant after the treatment compared with the values at the beginning of the therapy in the Graves' patients without ophthalmopathy (17.34 +/- 6.34 IU/ml vs 13.01 +/- 9.86 IU/ml, P < 0.03). In conclusion, since the results suggested that IgE plays a role in the inflammatory eye signs in Graves' ophthalmopathy, we propose administering antihistamines for medical management.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||European journal of medical research|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 20 1996|
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