Open Access

Clinical, Genetic and Immunological Characteristics of Paediatric Autoimmune Polyglandular Syndrome Type 1 Patients in Slovenia / Klinične, Genetske nn Imunološke Značilnosti Otrok In Mladostnikov Z Avtoimunskim Poliglandularnim Sindromom Tipa 1 V Sloveniji


Introduction. Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 (APS-1) is an autosomal recessive disorder, caused by mutations in the AIRE gene. The major components of APS-1 are chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC), hypoparathyroidism (HP) and Addison’s disease (AD). Clinical, genetic and immunological characteristics of Slovenian paediatric APS-1 patients were investigated.

Methods. Existing medical records of 15 APS-1 patients were rewieved, when necessary, additional clinical and laboratory investigations were issued. AIRE gene analysis was performed to identify causative mutations, and autoantibodies against type I interferons were measured by luminescence immunoprecipitation system.

Results. Patients had one to eight different manifestations of the disease. CMC was present in all, HP in 12/15 (80 %) and AD in 8/15 (53 %) patients. Growth retardation, due to hyposomatotropism, growth hormone resistance, autoimmune thyroiditis, corticosteroid treatment, malabsorption or secretory failure of exocrine pancreas, was observed in altogether 7 (46 %) patients. Six different AIRE gene mutations were detected and p.R257X mutation was present in 63.3 % of pathological alleles. Antibodies against type I interferons were detected in all patients.

Conclusion. APS-1 is a rare disorder with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations, which, if unrecognized or inadequately treated may be fatal. AIRE gene mutational analysis and autoantibodies against type I interferons are important in early identification of the disease. The aetiology of growth retardation was shown to be extremely diverse, frequently caused by less characteristic manifestations. APS-1 may affect patients’ quality of life in numerous ways, and may cause great psychosocial burden leading to depression and suicidal thoughts even in paediatric patients.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Hygiene and Environmental Medicine