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REVIEW  CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS OF ENDOCRINE DISEASES 

Minerva Endocrinologica 2018 September;43(3):305-22

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1977.17.02757-2

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Autoimmune endocrine diseases

Rosaria M. RUGGERI 1 , Giuseppe GIUFFRIDA 1, Alfredo CAMPENNÌ 2

1 Unit of Endocrinology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Messina, Messina, Italy; 2 Unit of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morphofunctional Imaging, University of Messina, Messina, Italy


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The endocrine system is interested by several autoimmune diseases, characterized by different impact and severity, according to the organs involved. Autoimmune thyroid disorders (i.e. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease) and type 1 diabetes mellitus are the most common autoimmune endocrine disorders, while hypophysitis, adrenalitis (90% of cases of primary hypocortisolism or Addison’s disease), POF and hypoparathyroidism represent quite rare conditions. Autoimmune endocrine diseases can also coexist in the same individuals and cluster in families. Some of these associations are nosologically codified in the so-called autoimmune polyglandular syndromes, but autoimmune endocrinopathies can also be accompanied by other non-endocrine autoimmune disorders (i.e. connective tissue, skin or gastrointestinal diseases). Pathophysiology generally results from a complex interplay among genetic predisposition and environmental/endogenous factors. In the diagnostic process, measurement of organ-specific autoantibodies, both with a causative role or as an epiphenomenon, is often fundamental and integrates the assessment of hormone axes and the targeted imaging studies.


KEY WORDS: Autoimmune diseases - Endocrine system diseases - Comorbidity - Thyroid diseases

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