• Clinical science

Thyroid antibodies


Antithyroid antibodies are autoantibodies that target one or more components of the thyroid gland and can act as markers to help diagnose autoimmune thyroid conditions. For example, thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibodies (TRAb) are seen mostly in Graves' disease, while thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb) are typical for Hashimoto's thyroiditis (but may also be present in Graves' disease). However, elevated thyroid antibodies do not always indicate disease, as somewhat increased levels may also be present in healthy individuals.


Percentage of cases associated with positive autoantibodies for various conditions:

TSH receptor antibodies (TRAb) Thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) Thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb)
Graves' disease ∼ 90% ∼ 70% ∼ 50–70%
Hashimoto's thyroiditis ∼ 10–15% > 90% > 80%
Thyroid cancer No association Sporadic ∼ 25% (important for follow-up!)
Other conditions

∼ 15% in multinodular goiter

> 60% in postpartum thyroiditis ∼ 40% in other autoimmune diseases (eg, type 1 diabetes mellitus)
General population Negative ∼ 5% ∼ 5%




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last updated 11/19/2018
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