Unprecedented complexity of six coexisting autoimmune diseases: A case report


Jihed Anoun
Nourhen Guedri
Imen Ben Hassine
Wafa Baya
Anis Mzabi
Fatma Ben Fredj


Introduction. Autoimmune disorders often exhibit interconnectedness, although encountering multiple autoimmune conditions in a single patient is uncommon. Multiple autoimmune syndrome is characterized by the presence of at least three distinct autoimmune diseases in an individual. This report outlines the case of a middle-aged woman diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis, Sjögren’s syndrome, scleroderma, autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, and antisynthetase syndrome. Additionally, it includes a literature review encompassing multiple autoimmune syndromes involving five or more autoimmune diseases.

Observation. A 57-year-old woman, with no previous medical history, presented with fever, extensive muscle weakness, progressive exertional dyspnea, inflammatory polyarthralgia, dysphagia, and dry mouth. Clinical examination revealed muscular deficit in the scapular and pelvic girdles, distal muscular deficit, synovitis in the wrists, and features indicative of “mechanic’s hand”. Laboratory examinations showed cytolysis, cholestasis, elevated muscle enzymes, hypergammaglobulinemia and elevated thyroid stimulating hormone. Immunoassays showed positive results for antinuclear antibodies, anti-histidyl-t-RNA synthetase, anti–Sjögren's-syndrome-related antigen A, anti-ribonucleic-acid-polymerase-III-RP155, anti-fibrillarin, anti-mitochondrial, anti-liver/kidney microsomal type 1, anti-glycoprotein 210, and anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies. Further investigations led to the diagnosis of a multiple autoimmune syndrome involving autoimmune thyroiditis, Sjögren’s syndrome, scleroderma, autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, and antisynthetase syndrome. The patient received treatment with intravenous immunoglobulins, corticosteroids, azathioprine, and ursodeoxycholic acid, which resulted in favorable clinical and biological outcomes.

Conclusion. This patient presented with six concurrent distinct autoimmune disorders, categorizing this case as a type two multiple autoimmune syndrome. The identification of antisynthetase syndrome notably distinguishes this case.


Autoimmune hepatitis, Autoimmune thyroiditis, Myositis, primary biliary cirrhosis, Sjogren’s syndrome



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