Trusted medical expertise in seconds.

Access 1,000+ clinical and preclinical articles. Find answers fast with the high-powered search feature and clinical tools.

Try free for 5 days
Evidence-based content, created and peer-reviewed by physicians. Read the disclaimer.

Thyroid antibodies

Last updated: March 26, 2021

Summarytoggle arrow icon

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 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%



  1. Longo D, Fauci A, Kasper D, Hauser S, Jameson J, Loscalzo J. Harrisons's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th Edition, 2011. McGraw-Hill Medical ; 2011
  2. Cho BY. Clinical applications of TSH receptor antibodies in thyroid diseases. J Korean Med Sci.. 2002; 17 (3): p.293-301. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2002.17.3.293 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  3. Chiovato L, Bassi P, Santini F, et al. Antibodies producing complement-mediated thyroid cytotoxicity in patients with atrophic or goitrous autoimmune thyroiditis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. . 1993; 77 (6): p.1700-1705. doi: 10.1210/jcem.77.6.7903315 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  4. Morshed S, Davies T. Graves' Disease Mechanisms: The Role of Stimulating, Blocking, and Cleavage Region TSH Receptor Antibodies. Hormone and Metabolic Research. 2015; 47 (10): p.727-734. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1559633 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  5. Kasper DL, Fauci AS, Hauser SL, Longo DL, Lameson JL, Loscalzo J. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. McGraw-Hill Education ; 2015
  6. Trbojević B, Djurica S. Diagnosis of autoimmune thyroid disease. Srp Arh Celok Lek. . 2005; 133 (1): p.25-33.
  7. Toyoda N, Nishikawa M, Iwasaka T. Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies. Nihon Rinsho.. 1999; 57 (8): p.1810-1814.
  8. Herold G. Internal Medicine. Herold G ; 2014
  9. Orgiazzi J. Anti-TSH receptor antibodies in clinical practice. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am.. 2000; 29 (2): p.339-355.