Graves' Disease - Phadia - Setting the Standard - Phadia.com - test

Graves' Disease

Graves' disease shares many immunological features with autoimmune thyroiditis and indeed autoimmune hypothyroidism often supervenes years after successful treatment with antithyroid drugs.

It is the production of TSH-R stimulating antibodies which characterizes Graves' disease; these cause sustained hyperthyroidism and the characteristic firm, diffuse goiter found in most patients. Graves' disease is the commonest cause of hyperthyroidism, accounting for 60-80% of cases.

In Europe, the prevalence is around 1% in women aged 35-60 years, with a 5- to 10-fold lower frequency in men. Over 90% of patients with Graves' disease have thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy. Clinically obvious disease is apparent in around 50% of patients, causing lid lag and retraction, nerve compression, with diminishing frequencies: severe congestive pththalmopathy affects less than 5% of patients.