AUTOIMMUNITY part 28

Immune 4

 

Case 3. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis :

Type IV Autoimmune disease

COMMENT

Pathologically Hashimoto’s thyroiditis represents an infiltration of thyroid gland with T and B lymphocytes, which often organize to form germinal centers. The lymphocytic infiltration may be visualized on positron emission tomography scanning.  Patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis may exhibit a focal or diffusely increased 2 fluoro- 2 deoxy- D glucose (FGD) uptake, which correlates with the T/B-cell infiltration. The B cells make  antibodies against  thyroid antigens, as seen in this patient, whereas the T cells produce  cytokines that stimulate the B cells and induce the thyroid cells to undergo apoptosis (programmed death). Eventually, the thyroid is destroyed and is unable to secrete  thyroid hormone, resulting in hypothyroidism. The diffusely micronodular appearance on ultrasound  is due to disruption of the normal microarchitecture of the thyroid gland. The small nodules seen on ultrasound  (“pseudonodules”) represent germinal centers and areas of focal infiltration in the gland.

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