Why measure thyroglobulin autoantibodies rather than thyroid peroxidase autoantibodies?

Thyroid. 2004 Jul;14(7):510-20. doi: 10.1089/1050725041517057.


Autoantibodies to thyroglobulin (TgAb) and thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb) are of immunoglobulin G (IgG) class and have high affinities for their respective autoantigens. Both autoantibodies are markers of thyroid autoimmunity and they can be measured by a variety of assays. From the clinical perspective, TgAb are less prevalent than TPOAb and less useful than TPOAb for prediction of thyroid dysfunction. Moreover, TgAb interfere with Tg measurements to monitor metastases in thyroid cancer. However, increasing evidence suggests that these TgAb provide a surrogate for Tg. In terms of disease pathogenesis, Tg has been suggested to play a role in Graves' ophthalmopathy. Pending further studies, TgAb epitopes could distinguish between individuals who are euthyroid or who have clinical disease. A final, intriguing reason for measuring and characterizing TgAb is the interest these autoantibodies have rekindled in their autoantigen. It is conceivable that Tg polymorphisms, combined with the explosive mix of iodine, TPO and H2O2 necessary for thyroid hormone synthesis, inadvertently provide the trigger for the autoimmune thyroid response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Iodide Peroxidase / immunology*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Thyroglobulin / immunology*
  • Thyroiditis, Autoimmune / diagnosis
  • Thyroiditis, Autoimmune / epidemiology
  • Thyroiditis, Autoimmune / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • anti-thyroglobulin
  • Thyroglobulin
  • Iodide Peroxidase