Autoimmune Thyroiditis (AT)
Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis
Autoimmune thyroiditis is a chronic disease in which the body interprets the thyroid glands and its hormone products T3, T4 and TSH as threats, therefore producing special antibodies that target the thyroid’s cells, thereby destroying it. It may present with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism and with or without a goiter.
Thyroid autoimmunity is familial. The disease is said to be inherited as a dominant trait since it has been reported that as many as fifty percent of the first degree relatives of patients with some type of autoimmune thyroiditis present with thyroid antibodies in serum. Murine experimental autoimmune thyroiditis is a model for Hashimoto's thyroiditis that has served as a prototype of T cell-mediated autoimmunity for more than three decades.