Medical Imaging Center, First Affiliated Hospital, Kunming Medical College, 295 Xicang Road, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate long-term immunological changes after the treatment of Graves' disease (GD) with thyroid arterial embolization and the effect of thyroid arterial embolization on the body's immunological functions.
Materials And Methods: Forty-one patients with clinically and laboratorily ascertained GD were treated with thyroid arterial embolization and followed up for 3-54 months following embolization. Prior to embolization and at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 36 months following embolization, thyroid autoimmune antibodies were tested respectively, including thyroid stimulating antibody (TSAb), thyrotropin antibody (TRAb), thyroglobulin antibody (TGAb), and thyroid microsomal antibody (TMAb), as well as subgroup lymphocytes of CD16+CD56+, CD19+, CD3+, CD3+CD4+ and CD3+CD8+. The autoimmune status of GD patients prior to embolization and the dynamic changes of the immunological function after embolization were analyzed.
Results: The therapy of thyroid arterial embolization could effectively decrease the activity/titer and positive rate of TRAb and the ratio of CD4+/ CD8+ to normal levels at 6 months following embolization, while the ratio of CD3+CD8+ increased gradually to normal level at 1 year following embolization. In patients with recurrence, TSAb and TRAb remained at a higher level, while the rate of CD3+CD8+ and the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ were not statistically significantly different from those before embolization.
Conclusion: Immunological functional disorder exists in GD patients. The treatment method of thyroid arterial embolization can effectively resume the basic immunological function to normal range while patients with recurrence have no significant improvement, suggesting that thyroid arterial embolization has an effective role in adjusting the immunological function.
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