Background: Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 2 (APS2) is defined by the occurrence of two or more autoimmune diseases, with Addison’s disease being most prevalent, and autoimmune thyroid disease and type 1 diabetes mellitus also being common. Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is an acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculopathy that is also autoimmune in nature, resulting in ascending muscle weakness or paralysis.
Clinical Case: A 49 year old female with past medical history of vitiligo, subclinical hyperthyroidism, and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) presented to our institution with fatigue, nausea, vomiting, polyuria, and polydipsia. She had no history of diabetes. Her history was also significant for GBS, diagnosed 5 months prior to her current admission. She was treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and had partial improvement of motor impairment. On exam, she was noted to have dry mucous membranes, epigastric tenderness, and patches of hyopigmented skin. Laboratory studies were consistent with diabetic ketoacidosis, and she was admitted to the ICU for management.
Labs from 5 months prior were significant for a HbA1c of 6.4% (4.0-5.6%), TSH <0.002 mIU/L (0.350-4.7 mIU/L), total T3 154.9 ng/dL (79-149 ng/dL), and free T4 1.7 ng/dL (0.7-1.9 ng/dL), and elevated thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin.
During the current admission, HbA1c had risen to 13.6%, C-Peptide 0.6 ng/mL (1.1-4.4 ng/mL) and GAD-65 antibody >250 IU/mL (<5 IU/mL), consistent with a diagnosis of late-onset type 1 diabetes. Repeat thyroid function tests (TSH <0.002 mIU/L, total T3 74 ng/dL, and free T4 1.2 ng/dL), were consistent with subclinical hyperthyroidism. A 21-hydoxylase antibody level was 13 U/mL (<1 U/mL), but cortisol rose appropriately in response to cosyntropin. Based on the patient’s constellation of vitiligo, autoimmune thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, and elevated 21-hydroxylase antibodies, she was diagnosed with APS2.
Conclusion: We present an unusual case of a patient with APS2, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 5 months after developing GBS and being treated with IVIG. Prior reports demonstrate an association between GBS and other autoimmune diseases, including one case report of GBS in a patient with APS2. HLA DR3 has been associated with APS2, type 1 diabetes, Addison’s disease and Grave’s disease. Its association with GBS is less clear, although HLA DR3 was increased in one Mexican cohort with GBS. This case report adds to the literature suggesting an association with GBS and other autoimmune diseases, specifically, with APS2.
Jin PP, Sun LL, Ding BJ, Qin N, Zhou B, et al. (2015) Human Leukocyte Antigen DQB1 (HLA-DQB1) Polymorphisms and the Risk for Guillain-Barré Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLOS ONE 10(7): e0131374