High prevalence of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody positivity in childhood onset Graves' disease treated with propylthiouracil

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Nov;85(11):4270-3. doi: 10.1210/jcem.85.11.7000.


Propylthiouracil (PTU)-induced antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-related vasculitis and nephritis were recently reported in about 30 patients with hyperthyroidism. The objective of this study was to clarify the prevalence of ANCA and the relationship between ANCA and thyroid antibodies in children with Graves' disease. Titers of myeloperoxidase (MPO)-ANCA in sera of 51 patients with childhood onset Graves' disease (16 before treatment, 25 and 10 treated with PTU and methimazole, respectively) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosolvent assay. Antithyroglobulin antibodies (TGAbs) and antithyroperoxidase antibodies (TPOAbs) were also measured by RIA in 25 PTU-treated patients. No patients had clinical manifestations of vasculitis and nephritis. MPO-ANCA was positive in 6.7% of patients before treatment and in 64.0% of those treated with PTU and in none of those treated with methimazole. MPO-ANCA had a significantly positive correlation with TGAbs (P < 0.05) and no significant correlation with TPOAbs. These findings show the high prevalence of the MPO-ANCA positivity in PTU-treated childhood onset Graves' disease, suggesting that PTU may not be preferred as the first line for the treatment of children with Graves' disease. The significant correlation between MPO-ANCA and TGAbs indicates that the severity of Graves' disease may be a factor responsible for the MPO-ANCA positivity. The cross-reactivity between MPO-ANCA and TPOAbs may not play a role in the high prevalence of MPO-ANCA in the patients exposed to PTU.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age of Onset
  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic / blood*
  • Antithyroid Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Graves Disease / blood
  • Graves Disease / drug therapy*
  • Graves Disease / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Thyroid-Stimulating / blood
  • Iodide Peroxidase / blood
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Methimazole / therapeutic use*
  • Peroxidase / immunology
  • Propylthiouracil / therapeutic use*
  • Thyroglobulin / immunology


  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic
  • Antithyroid Agents
  • Immunoglobulins, Thyroid-Stimulating
  • Methimazole
  • Propylthiouracil
  • Thyroglobulin
  • Peroxidase
  • Iodide Peroxidase