Indian Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Home | About IJNM | Search | Current Issue | Past Issues | Instructions | Ahead of Print | Online submissionLogin 
Indian Journal of Nuclear Medicine
  Editorial Board | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact
Users Online: 511 Print this page  Email this page Small font size Default font size Increase font size

 Table of Contents     
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 195-196  

Primary autoimmune thrombocytopenia and co-existing Graves' disease: Role of radioiodine-131

Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Date of Web Publication11-Jul-2014

Correspondence Address:
Bhagwant Rai Mittal
Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-3919.136602

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Jung RS, Parghane RV, Sood A, Bhattacharya A, Mittal BR. Primary autoimmune thrombocytopenia and co-existing Graves' disease: Role of radioiodine-131. Indian J Nucl Med 2014;29:195-6

How to cite this URL:
Jung RS, Parghane RV, Sood A, Bhattacharya A, Mittal BR. Primary autoimmune thrombocytopenia and co-existing Graves' disease: Role of radioiodine-131. Indian J Nucl Med [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Jan 19];29:195-6. Available from:


A 24-year-old patient presented with a history of easy bruising, petechiae, gum bleeding, and menorrhagia in 2007. There was no history of any other medical illness or history of any medications. General physical and systemic examination was normal. Hemoglobin was 12 g/dl and complete blood count revealed an isolated thrombocytopenia of 10,000/mm 3 , total white cell count 7000/dl, erythrocyte sedimentation rate 12 mm/1 st h. Tests for antinuclear antibodies, HIV and hepatitis C virus were negative. Peripheral blood smear examination was normal. She was subsequently transfused three units of single donor platelets and the platelet counts increased to 60,000. Bone marrow biopsy revealed isolated megakaryocytic hyperplasia and a diagnosis of acute primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) was made. Platelets count fluctuated between 80,000 and 90,000 until November 2012. The patient then started having palpitations, fine tremors and heat intolerance. Neck examination revealed soft goiter (WHO Grade I) with diffuse enlargement of both the lobes of the thyroid gland. No bruits or palpable thrill was present. Thyroid function test (TFT) revealed elevated free T3 and T4 levels and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) <0.002 in January 2013. Tests also revealed raised antithyrogobulin and anti-microsomal antibodies. A neck ultrasonography revealed diffuse enlargement of both the lobes of the thyroid gland, while 99m Tc thyroid scan revealed diffusely increased trapping function. Carbimazole 5 mg was then started in February 2013 following which there was improvement in the thyrotoxicosis symptoms. However, there was a dramatic decline of platelet counts from 68,000 before the initiation of carbimazole in January to 48,000 in May, 20,000 in August, 7000 in September 2013. An adverse reaction to carbimazole was considered and the drug was stopped and prednisolone at a dose of 50 mg/day was started in mid-September. Subsequently, there was a rise of platelet counts to 27,000 in the 1 st week of October. Dapsone at a dose of 100 mg/day was then started. However, the platelet count remained low, fluctuating between 20,000 and 25,000 until mid-November. The patient started having thyrotoxicosis symptoms once again and TFT revealed elevated free T3 and T4 and TSH of <0.02. Subsequently the patient underwent I-131 ablation with 8.2 mCi in end of November 2013. After I-131 ablation, dapsone was stopped and steroid was tapered to 10 mg/day. The patient is clinically euthyroid with normal TFTs currently and at a maintenance dose of prednisolone 5 mg has a platelet count of 2.4 lakhs. The graphical representation of thyroid status is given in [Figure 1].
Figure 1: The graphical representation of platelet counts in 1000's and thyroid function status during the period of treatment

Click here to view

Thrombocytopenia as a finding in Graves' disease is well-known. [1],[2] Decrease in the platelet count is attributed either due to increased destruction of the platelets due to elevated thyroid hormone levels leading to activation and the reticuloendothelial system. [3] The autoimmune etiology of thrombocytopenia associated with Graves' disease and overlap between thyroid and platelet autoimmunity has been well explained by Cordiano et al. [4] ITP and Graves' disease can be simultaneously present or diagnosis of the two diseases can vary from months to years. [5] Correction of the hyperthyroid state by anti-thyroid drugs usually results in reversal of thrombocytopenia. [5],[6],[7] Here, in our case, correction of the thyrotoxicosis with carbimazole was counterproductive as it worsened thrombocytopenia, which is a documented side-effect of carbimazole itself. [8] Our case attempts to highlight two important aspects of treatment of ITP with co-existing Graves' disease. First, how introduction of anti-thyroid drugs like carbimazole can sometimes be counterproductive and secondly how I-131 radio-ablation can be of immense benefit in such ITP patients.

   References Top

1.Adrouny A, Sandler RM, Carmel R. Variable presentation of thrombocytopenia in Graves' disease. Arch Intern Med 1982;142:1460-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Valenta LJ, Treadwell T, Berry R, Elias AN. Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and Graves disease. Am J Hematol 1982;12:69-72.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Kurata Y, Nishioeda Y, Tsubakio T, Kitani T. Thrombocytopenia in Graves' disease: Effect of T3 on platelet kinetics. Acta Haematol 1980;63:185-90.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Cordiano I, Betterle C, Spadaccino CA, Soini B, Girolami A, Fabris F. Autoimmune thrombocytopenia (AITP) and thyroid autoimmune disease (TAD): Overlapping syndromes? Clin Exp Immunol 1998;113:373-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Cheung E, Liebman HA. Thyroid disease in patients with immune thrombocytopenia. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 2009;23:1251-60.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Gill H, Hwang YY, Tse E. Primary immune thrombocytopenia responding to antithyroid treatment in a patient with Graves' disease. Ann Hematol 2011;90:223-4.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Hofbauer LC, Spitzweg C, Schmauss S, Heufelder AE. Graves disease associated with autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura. Arch Intern Med 1997;157:1033-6.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Bartalena L, Bogazzi F, Martino E. Adverse effects of thyroid hormone preparations and antithyroid drugs. Drug Saf 1996;15:53-63.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Figure 1]

This article has been cited by
1 Clinical association between thyroid disease and immune thrombocytopenia
Shoko Ito, Shin-ichiro Fujiwara, Rui Murahashi, Hirotomo Nakashima, Sae Matsuoka, Takashi Ikeda, Shin-ichiro Kawaguchi, Yumiko Toda, Tetsuaki Ban, Takashi Nagayama, Kento Umino, Daisuke Minakata, Kaoru Morita, Hirofumi Nakano, Ryoko Yamasaki, Masahiro Ashizawa, Chihiro Yamamoto, Kaoru Hatano, Kazuya Sato, Iekuni Oh, Ken Ohmine, Yoshinobu Kanda
Annals of Hematology. 2021; 100(2): 345
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Platelet-Lymphocyte Ratio as a Novel Surrogate Marker to Differentiate Thyrotoxic Patients with Graves Disease from Subacute Thyroiditis: a Cross-Sectional Study from South India
Riddhi Dasgupta, Avica Atri, Felix Jebasingh, Julie Hepzhibah, Pamela Christudoss, Hs Asha, Thomas V. Paul, Nihal Thomas
Endocrine Practice. 2020; 26(9): 939
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded117    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 2    

Recommend this journal