Co-occurrence of relapsing polychondritis and autoimmune thyroid diseases

Toshiki Nakajima, Hajime Yoshifuji, Yoshihisa Yamano, Kimiko Yurugi, Yasuo Miura, Taira Maekawa, Tsuneyasu Yoshida, Hiroshi Handa, Koichiro Ohmura, Tsuneyo Mimori, Chikashi Terao

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Background: Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is a rare inflammatory disease characterized by recurrent inflammation and destruction of cartilaginous tissues. RP has characteristics of autoimmune disease and some reports have noted co-occurrence with autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD), consisting of Graves’ disease (GD) and Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT). However, there have been no detailed studies on the co-occurrence of RP and AITD. In this study, we aimed to determine whether patients with RP tend to be complicated with AITD. We also analyzed the clinical and genetic profiles of patients in whom these diseases co-occur. Methods: We recruited 117 patients with RP and reviewed their medical records. Furthermore, we genotyped Human Leucocyte Antigen (HLA)-A, B Cw, DRB1, DQB1, and DPB1 alleles for 93 of the 117 patients. The prevalence of AITD among the patients with RP was compared with that among the general Japanese population. We also analyzed the clinical and genetic features of the patients with both RP and AITD. Results: The prevalence of GD among the patients with RP was 4.3% (5 among 117 patients), significantly higher than that among Japanese (0.11%) (p = 2.44 × 10–7, binomial test). RP patients with GD tended to have nasal involvement (p = 0.023) (odds ratio (OR) 2.58) and HLA-DPB1*02:02 (p = 0.035, OR 10.41). We did not find significant enrichment of HT in patients with RP. Conclusions: Patients with RP appear to be at elevated risk of GD. Nasal involvement and HLA-DPB1*02:02 characterize the subset of RP patients with GD, which may guide attempts to characterize a distinct subtype of RP for precision medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101
JournalOrphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12-2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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