Multiple endocrinopathies (growth hormone deficiency, autoimmune hypothyroidism and diabetes mellitus) in Kearns-Sayre syndrome

Submitted: 18 November 2014
Accepted: 18 November 2014
Published: 30 June 2013
Abstract Views: 1294
PDF: 1264
Publisher's note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.


Kearns-Sayre syndrome is characterized by onset before 20 years, chronic progressive external opthalmoplegia, pigmentary retinal degeneration, and ataxia (and/or hearth block, and/or high protein content in the cerebrospinal fluid) in the presence of mtDNA rearrangements. Multiple endocrine dysfunction associated with this syndrome was rarely reported. In this paper, the Authors report on a female patient with Kearns-Sayre syndrome with large heteroplasmic mtDNA deletion, absence of cytochrome c oxidase in many muscle fibers, partial GH deficiency, hypothyroidism and subsequently insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Anti-thyroid peroxidase and antithyreoglobulin antibodies were present in high titer in serum while anti-islet cell antibodies were absent. The patient developed thyroiditis with Hashimoto encephalopathy. The presence of GH deficiency, autoimmune thyroiditis with hypothyroidism and IDDM distinguishes this case from others and confirms the association of Kearns-Sayre syndrome with multiple endocrine dysfunction. Hashimoto encephalopathy and anti-thyroideal antibodies suggest that in this patient, predisposed by a genetic factor (a mitochondrial deletion) anti-thyroideal antibodies may have contributed to the hypothyroidism and, by interfering with cerebral mitochondrial function, may have caused the encephalopathy. GH deficiency and IDDM can be attributed to oxidative phosphorylation deficiency but the autoimmunity may also have played a role in the production of glandular insufficiencies. It seems important to search for endocrine autoimmunity in every case of KSS.

Berio, A., & Piazzi, A. (2013). Multiple endocrinopathies (growth hormone deficiency, autoimmune hypothyroidism and diabetes mellitus) in Kearns-Sayre syndrome. La Pediatria Medica E Chirurgica, 35(3).


Download data is not yet available.