Thyroid antibodies

Last updated: March 14, 2022

Summarytoggle arrow icon

Antithyroid antibodies are autoantibodies that target one or more components of the thyroid gland and can act as markers to help diagnose autoimmune thyroid conditions. For example, thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibodies (TRAb) are seen mostly in Graves' disease, while thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) and thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb) are typical for Hashimoto's thyroiditis (but may also be present in Graves' disease). However, elevated thyroid antibodies do not always indicate disease, as somewhat increased levels may also be present in healthy individuals.

Overviewtoggle arrow icon

Percentage of cases associated with positive autoantibodies for various conditions:

Overview of thyroid antibodies
TSH receptor antibodies (TRAb) Thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) Thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb)
Graves disease ∼ 90% ∼ 70% ∼ 50–70%
Hashimoto thyroiditis ∼ 10–15% > 90% > 80%
Thyroid cancer No association Sporadic ∼ 25% (important for follow-up!)
Other conditions

∼ 15% in multinodular goiter

> 60% in postpartum thyroiditis ∼ 40% in other autoimmune diseases (eg, type 1 diabetes mellitus)
General population Negative ∼ 5% ∼ 5%


Pathophysiologytoggle arrow icon


Referencestoggle arrow icon

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  5. Kasper DL, Fauci AS, Hauser SL, Longo DL, Lameson JL, Loscalzo J. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. McGraw-Hill Education ; 2015
  6. Trbojević B, Djurica S. Diagnosis of autoimmune thyroid disease. Srp Arh Celok Lek. . 2005; 133 (1): p.25-33.
  7. Toyoda N, Nishikawa M, Iwasaka T. Anti-thyroglobulin antibodies. Nihon Rinsho.. 1999; 57 (8): p.1810-1814.
  8. Orgiazzi J. Anti-TSH receptor antibodies in clinical practice. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am.. 2000; 29 (2): p.339-355.

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