Frontiers in endocrinology 2017 10 038() 266 doi 10.3389/fendo.2017.00266
We have reviewed scientific literature about the association of systemic sclerosis (SSc) and thyroid disorders. A high incidence, and prevalence, of new cases of autoimmune thyroiditis (AT) and/or hypothyroidism have been shown in sclerodermic patients (overall in the female gender). An association among a Th1 immune-predominance, low vitamin D levels, and AT have been also shown in SSc patients. Cases of Graves’ disease (GD) have been described in SSc patients, too, according with the higher prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity. It has been also shown a higher prevalence of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), in association with AT, in SSc patients. However, in order to confirm results about GD and thyroid cancer, studies in larger number of patients with SSc are needed. During the follow-up of SSc patients it would be appropriate to monitor carefully their thyroid status. The abovementioned data strongly suggest a periodic thyroid function follow-up in female SSc patients [showing a borderline high (although in the normal range) thyroid-stimulating hormone level, antithyroid peroxidase antibody positivity, and a small thyroid with a hypoechoic pattern], and, when necessary, appropriate treatments. In conclusion, most of the studies show an association among SSc, AT, and hypothyroidism, such as an increased prevalence of TC overall in SSc patients with AT. Only few cases of GD have been also described in SSc.