, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 93–100 | Cite as

Certain HLA alleles are associated with stress-triggered Graves’ disease and influence its course

  • Roberto VitaEmail author
  • Daniela Lapa
  • Francesco Trimarchi
  • Giuseppe Vita
  • Poupak Fallahi
  • Alessandro Antonelli
  • Salvatore Benvenga
Endocrine Genetics/Epigenetics


There are no studies on HLA analysis in patients in whom Graves’ disease (GD) hyperthyroidism has been preceded by ≥1 stressful event. The aim of the present study was to identify predisposing or protecting HLA alleles and their effects on the course of GD in this subset of patients. We performed serological HLA typing in 58 Caucasian patients with stress-related GD and in 130 matched healthy controls (HC). We also performed genomic HLA typing in 20/58 patients and in all HC. Five HLA alleles and three loci were more frequent in patients compared to HC: B8, Cw7, C*07, C*17, DR3, DR4, DRB1*04, and DQ2. In contrast, B14 was less frequent in patients than in HC. Depending on outcome after ATD withdrawal (remission, exacerbation on-ATD, relapse off-ATD), in patients, some alleles/loci were over-represented, while others were under-represented. Age, FT3, and FT4 fold increase over the upper normal limit at onset were different depending on the allele/locus carried. In GD patients with stress-triggered hyperthyroidism, HLA typing may be helpful in predicting the outcome of the disease after ATD withdrawal.


Graves’ disease HLA Stress Autoimmunity 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Endocrinology, Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Sciences and ImagesUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  4. 4.Master Program on Childhood, Adolescent and Women’s Endocrine HealthUniversity of Messina School of MedicineMessinaItaly
  5. 5.Interdepartmental Program of Molecular and Clinical Endocrinology, and Women’s Endocrine HealthUniversity Hospital Policlinico G. MartinoMessinaItaly

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