Interpretation of sex hormone-binding globulin levels in thyroid disorders

Thyroid. 2003 Aug;13(8):755-60. doi: 10.1089/105072503768499644.


Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels were followed in three groups of female subjects to evaluate interrelationships between its levels and parameters characterizing thyroid function. In the first part of the study the data from 201 patients with thyroid and other endocrine dysfunctions were grouped according to SHBG or basic laboratory parameters of thyroid function (thyrotropin, free thyroxine). Particular attention was paid to the presence of antithyroid antibodies (against thyroglobulin or thyroid peroxidase). Analysis of covariance revealed that SHBG changes were significant only in hyperthyroidism, and were not influenced by the presence of antibodies. Age was a minor factor influencing SHBG levels, in contrast to thyroid status. In a well-defined group of 16 females with severe hypothyroidism after total thyroidectomy because of thyroid cancer the low SHBG levels increased significantly to physiologic values after reaching normal thyroid function, irrespective of contraceptive use. In the final part of the study SHBG levels were correlated with the basic laboratory data, reflecting thyroid function in a sample of normal female population (129 subjects) screened for iodine deficiency in one region of the Czech Republic. After adjustment for age, the only significant positive correlation was between SHBG and free triiodothyronine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothyroidism / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism*
  • Thyroid Diseases / blood*
  • Thyroid Gland / immunology
  • Thyrotropin / blood*
  • Thyroxine / blood
  • Triiodothyronine / blood


  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Triiodothyronine
  • Thyrotropin
  • Thyroxine