Etiopathogenesis of Graves' disease.

: Graves' disease is an autoimmune disorder, caused by thyroid-stimulating antibodies, which bind to and activate the thyrotropin receptor on thyroid cells, inducing the synthesis and release of thyroid hormones. It is a polygenic and multifactorial disease that develops as a result of complex interaction between genetic susceptibility and environmental and/or endogenous factors. Graves' disease differs from other autoimmune diseases of the thyroid by specific clinical features, including hyperthyroidism, vascular goitre, ophthalmopathy and--less commonly--infiltrative dermopathy. This article discusses current theories, regarding the etiology and pathogenesis of Graves' disease, including possible predisposing factors, autoimmune aspects of Graves' disease, ophthalmopathy, and dermopathy.