Skip to main content

Health Encyclopedia

Search the Health Encyclopedia

Antithyroglobulin antibody

Definition

Antithyroglobulin antibody is a test to measure antibodies to a protein called thyroglobulin. This protein is found in thyroid cells.

Alternative Names

Thyroglobulin antibody; Thyroiditis - thyroglobulin antibody; Hypothyroidism - thyroglobulin antibody; Thyroiditis - thyroglobulin antibody; Graves disease - thyroglobulin antibody; Underactive thyroid - thyroglobulin antibody

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed.

How to Prepare for the Test

You may be told not to eat or drink anything for several hours (usually overnight). Your health care provider may monitor you or tell you to stop taking certain medicines for a short time before the test because they may affect the test results. Never stop taking any medicine without first talking to your provider.

How the Test will Feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.

Why the Test is Performed

This test helps detect possible thyroid problems.

Antithyroglobulin antibodies can be a sign of thyroid gland damage caused by the immune system. They may be measured if thyroiditis is suspected.

Measuring thyroglobulin antibody levels after treatment for thyroid cancer can help your provider decide what the best test is to monitor you for a recurrence of the cancer.

Normal Results

A negative test result is a normal result. It means no antibodies to thyroglobulin are found in your blood.

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

A positive test means antithyroglobulin antibodies are found in your blood. They may be present with:

Pregnant women and relatives of those with autoimmune thyroiditis may also test positive for these antibodies.

Risks

Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded
  • Hematoma (blood buildup under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

References

Salvatore D, Davies TF, Schlumberger MJ, Hay ID, Larsen PR. Thyroid physiology and diagnostic evaluation of patients with thyroid disorders. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 11.

Weiss RE, Refetoff S. Thyroid function testing. In: Jameson JL, De Groot LJ, eds. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 78.

Review Date:2/3/2016
Reviewed By:Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

Health
Outcome Data

No data available for this condition/procedure.

Images

Health Encyclopedia

More Features

We Appreciate Your Feedback!
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No
2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No