Antithyroglobulin Antibody Test
Testing for thyroid antibodies, such as thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO), is primarily ordered to help diagnose an autoimmune thyroid disease and to distinguish it from other forms of thyroid dysfunction. Thyroid autoantibodies develop when a person’s immune system mistakenly targets components of the thyroid gland or thyroid proteins, leading to chronic inflammation of the thyroid (thyroiditis), tissue damage, and/or disruption of thyroid function.
Negative test results mean that thyroid autoantibodies are not present in the blood at the time of testing and may indicate that symptoms are due to a cause other than autoimmune. However, a certain percentage of people who have autoimmune thyroid disease do not have autoantibodies. If it is suspected that the autoantibodies may develop over time, as may happen with some autoimmune disorders, then repeat testing may be done at a later date.
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