Recent advances in understanding autoimmune thyroid disease: the tallest tree in the forest of polyautoimmunity

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Autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) is often observed together with other autoimmune diseases. The coexistence of two or more autoimmune diseases in the same patient is referred to as polyautoimmunity, and AITD is the autoimmune disease most frequently involved. The occurrence of polyautoimmunity has led to the hypothesis that the affected patients suffer from a generalized dysregulation of their immune system. The present review summarizes recent discoveries unravelling the immunological mechanisms involved in autoimmunity, ranging from natural autoimmunity to disease-specific autoimmunity. Furthermore, the clinical grounds for considering AITD in a setting of polyautoimmunity are explored. A better understanding of these may pave the way for designing new treatment modalities targeting the underlying immune dysregulation when AITD appears in the context of polyautoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1776
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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