Two postpartum and 7 spontaneous episodes of transient hypothyroidism developed during 5 years of observation in a florist with autoimmune thyroiditis and seasonal allergic rhinitis. The spontaneous episodes recurred twice a year regularly in spring and in autumn, the seasons of her allergic rhinitis. In most of these episodes as well as in the postpartum ones, hypothyroidism was preceded by transient thyrotoxicosis. In addition to the similarity in the clinical course, the changes in antimicrosomal antibody titers in pregnancyunrelated episodes were almost identical to those in postpartum episodes. Throughout the observation periods, she had supranormal serum total immunoglobulin (Ig) E concentrations and high antigen-specific Ig E levels for various pollen extracts such as cedar and ragweed. However, we failed to demonstrate a correlation between thyroid function and total or any antigen-specific Ig E level.
The present findings suggest that the pregnancy-unrelated thyroid dysfunction in our patient developed as a result of silent thyroiditis and through similar immunological mechanisms to those in postpartum thyroiditis. And it is suspected, though unproved, that the seasonal recurrence of pregnancyunrelated thyroiditis has some causal relation to her allergic disease.
The Japan Endocrine Society