Failure to find an association between hepatitis C virus and thyroid autoimmunity

Thyroid. 1997 Jun;7(3):421-4. doi: 10.1089/thy.1997.7.421.


A high frequency of hepatitis C antibodies has been reported from France in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis. Two cases of Hashimoto's thyroiditis in association with chronic active hepatitis and hepatitis C infection have also been reported. We have examined this potential association in 46 patients with autoimmune hypothyroidism and found that 16 apparently had hepatitis C antibodies in one of the two commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), but all patients were negative in a confirmatory commercially available recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA-3) indicating that none of the patients were truly positive for hepatitis C antibodies. We also tested sera from 111 patients with proven hepatitis C infection and found no increased prevalence of thyroid autoantibodies. These results suggest that hepatitis C infection is not a risk factor for the development of thyroid autoimmunity in the United Kingdom.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Autoantibodies / analysis
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C* / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Iodide Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Male
  • Thyroiditis, Autoimmune / immunology
  • Thyroiditis, Autoimmune / virology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Autoantibodies
  • Iodide Peroxidase