Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 2 in an HIV-positive man managed at the University Teaching Hospitals Lusaka, Zambia: a case report

Pan Afr Med J. 2022 Jan 12:41:31. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2022.41.31.30195. eCollection 2022.


Autoimmune polyglandular syndromes (APS) are rare autoimmune endocrinopathies characterized by the coexistence of at least two endocrine gland insufficiencies developed from autoimmune mechanisms. APS may also be associated with non-endocrine immune diseases. In HIV infection, antiretroviral therapy can improve the quality of life to reduce the incidence of opportunistic infections, malignancies, and death. HIV disease may also be associated with complications, such as immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) presenting as infections, malignancies or autoimmune diseases. We here report the clinical case of an HIV-infected man receiving antiretroviral therapy, who subsequently developed APS type II, characterized by Grave's disease, type 1 diabetes mellitus. He complained of a mass in his anterior neck, diarrhea, weight loss, palpitations, hand tremors and excessive sweating. Six months before he had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus. The patient had a diffusely enlarged thyroid on ultrasound, elevated random blood glucose of 14.0 mmol/l; elevated free T4 at 5.03 ng/dL and suppressed thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) at <0.05 micro-IU/mL. The patient was treated with carbimazole and propranolol for Graves' thyrotoxicosis and basal bolus insulin regimen (actrapid and protaphane) for hyperglycemia. At monthly follow-up assessments he was euthyroid and 2-hour postprandial blood glucose test was normal. The goitre had markedly reduced in size. This screening for APS in HIV patients with autoimmune IRIS as well as patients with autoimmune endocrinopathies in order to allow for early diagnosis and prompt initiation of treatment to reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: Graves’ disease; case report; type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune* / complications
  • Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune* / diagnosis
  • Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune* / drug therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Universities
  • Zambia