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Pediatric Patients with Vitiligo in Eastern China: Abnormalities in 145 Cases Based on Thyroid Function Tests and Immunological Findings

Cheng Xianfeng, Jiang Yuegen, Yin Zhiyu, Yang Yan, Zeng Xuesi, Wang Fenglai, Li Ansheng, Wang Wei

Institute of Dermatology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:3216-3221

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.894981

Available online:

Published: 2015-10-23

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate abnormalities in thyroid function according to tests and the humoral immune systems of patients from Eastern China with pediatric vitiligo.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 145 pediatric patients with vitiligo were investigated in this study, along with 59 children without autoimmune diseases as controls. Laboratory tests of thyroid function were conducted, and these tests examined free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroglobulin antibody (TG-Ab), thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO-Ab), antinuclear antibodies (ANAs), immunoglobulins (IgA, IgM, and IgG), and complements (C3 and C4).
RESULTS: A total of 63 patients (43.4%), including 39 boys (44.3%) and 24 girls (42.1%), displayed abnormalities in thyroid function according to the tests. This finding indicated that patients with vitiligo differed significantly from those in the control group (P<0.001), particularly in terms of FT3 and TSH abnormalities (P<0.05). However, these groups did not deviate significantly with respect to FT4, Tg-Ab, and TPO-Ab abnormalities (P>0.05). Thirteen patients (8.9%) and 1 (1.7%) control were positive for ANA. All 12 specific antibodies were detected in 8 patients. Anti-SSA/Ro-60 and anti-SSA/Ro-52 were the most prevalent antibodies, followed by anti-dsDNA and then by anti-SmD1 and CENB-P. The serum levels of IgA and IgG decreased more significantly in the vitiligo group than in the control group (P<0.001). However, no significant difference was observed in terms of IgM levels (P>0.05). C4 serum levels also decreased more significantly in the vitiligo group than in the control group (P=0.035).
CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that the incidence of abnormalities in the thyroid functions of children and adolescents is significantly higher in those with vitiligo than that in those in the control group. In addition, immunological dysfunction is common in the vitiligo group.

Keywords: Antibodies, Antinuclear - immunology, Adolescent, Autoimmune Diseases - diagnosis, Child, Child, Preschool, China, Complement C3 - metabolism, Complement C4 - metabolism, Immunoglobulin A - blood, Immunoglobulin G - blood, Immunoglobulin M - blood, Iodide Peroxidase - immunology, Thyroglobulin - immunology, Thyroid Function Tests, Thyroid Gland - physiopathology, Thyrotropin - blood, Thyroxine - blood, Triiodothyronine - blood, Vitiligo - physiopathology