Biological variation of thyroid autoantibodies and thyroglobulin

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BackgroundIt has been shown that the level of serum thyroid antibodies affects serum thyrotropin (TSH) concentrations in men and women, and that these autoantibodies in combination with serum TSH are predictive of future thyroid disease. As the biological variation of these autoantibodies is unknown, we investigated this in fertile women during one complete regular menstrual cycle.MethodsA total of 24 healthy women (23–46 years) were investigated twice a week between 07:30 and 11:00 h. Antibodies against thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb), thyroglobulin (TgAb), and thyrotropin receptor (TRAb) were measured in serum, as well as thyroglobulin (Tg). TPOAb, TgAb and Tg were determined on an AutoDELFIA system (Perkin Elmer/Wallac) and TRAb by a radioreceptor assay from Brahms Diagnostica.ResultsAll 24 women had measurable levels of TPOAb and TgAb in all samples, and nine women had antibodies above the upper reference limit of the laboratory (6 had TPOAb > 10 kIU/L, 6 had TgAb > 20 kIU/L and 1 had TRAb > 0.75 IU/L). Eight women had Tg below the lower reference limit, five of whom had elevated TgAb. Variations in the thyroid antibodies were random and not related to the menstrual cycle. For TPOAb (2.5–258 kIU/L), the CV biological was 11.3%, while the CV analytical was 10.6%. For TgAb (5.6 to 148 kIU/L) CV biological was 8.5% and CV analytical was 9.0%. The woman with TRAb had a CV biological of 4.8%, while the analytical variation in duplicates was 3.9% at a level of 2.8 IU/L.ConclusionsIt is possible to measure TPOAb and TgAb in all samples with the AutoDELFIA. There is no systematic variation in autoantibodies during the menstrual cycle. The biological coefficient of variation for TPOAb and TgAb was 11.3% and 8.5%, respectively.

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