Two common forms of autoimmune thyroid diseases are Graves' disease and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4) encoded by the CTLA4 gene on chromosome 2q33 plays a role in susceptibility to Graves' disease and is probably important also for Hashimoto's thyroiditis as well as for the other endocrine autoimmune disorders. The CTLA4 locus is the only nonhuman leukocyte antigen locus that has been found in association with Graves' disease repeatedly. Particularly, association of three polymorphic markers of CTLA4 gene, namely, C(-318) T, A49G, and (AT)n dinucleotide repeat, with Graves' disease was demonstrated in most of the population-based investigations. On the other hand, there are few studies to reveal the association of these markers with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. A49G polymorphism was proposed to be associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and C(-318) T was suggested to be not associated. The patient groups consisted of 88 patients (10 males and 78 females; mean age: 14.5 +/- 3.2 years [4.6-21.0 years]) with a previous diagnosis of Hashimoto's thyroiditis and 112 euthyroid volunteers (51 males and 61 females; mean age: 14.1 +/- 2.9 years [5.2-18 years]). The frequency of A/G (A49G) genotype was high and statistically significant in patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis in comparison with the control group. Although the frequency of C/T [C(-318) T] genotype is not significantly high in children with Hashimoto's thyroiditis according to the control group, the risk of Hashimoto's thyroiditis in A/G genotype group was 4.66 times greater than the group with A/A genotype. In this study, we documented that the A49G polymorphism might increase the susceptibility for Hashimoto's thyroiditis.