Detection of Thyroid Abnormalities in Aquaporin-4 Antibody-Seropositive Optic Neuritis Patients

J Neuroophthalmol. 2017 Mar;37(1):24-29. doi: 10.1097/WNO.0000000000000454.


Objective: This study retrospectively analyzed the frequency of anti-thyroid antibodies (ATAs) and thyroid disease in patients with optic neuritis (ON).

Methods: Tests of serum thyroglobulin (TG) and thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies and thyroid function were performed in 97 ON patients. Blood also was drawn to test for AQP4-Ab using cell-based and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Comparisons of the frequencies of ATAs, thyroid diseases and thyroid function were performed based on AQP4-Ab status.

Results: Seropositive AQP4-Ab was found in 47/97 (48.5%) patients. ATA was considered positive in 34/97 (35.1%) patients. The prevalence of ATA was two times higher (P = 0.019) in the AQP4-Ab+ group compared to the AQP4-Ab- group. AQP4-Ab+ ON patients exhibited lower FT3 (P = 0.006) and FT4 (P = 0.025) levels and a higher prevalence of definite Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) (P = 0.005). Among AQP4-Ab+ patients, those with HT had a worse visual outcome than non-HT patients.

Conclusion: A high prevalence of ATAs and HT was found in AQP4-Ab+ ON patients, and AQP4-Ab+ patients with HT exhibited worse visual outcomes than non-HT patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aquaporin 4 / blood
  • Aquaporin 4 / immunology*
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Optic Neuritis / diagnosis
  • Optic Neuritis / etiology
  • Optic Neuritis / immunology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thyroid Diseases / complications
  • Thyroid Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Thyroid Diseases / immunology


  • Aquaporin 4
  • Autoantibodies