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Thyroglobulin Mass Spectrometry, Serum [A Test in Focus]

This new Mayo Clinic assay provides clinicians an accurate measurement of serum thyroglobulin in patients with known or suspected anti-thyroglobulin autoantibodies or heterophilic antibodies. View a quick overview of the test’s details and a five-minute video interview with Dr. Stefan Grebe, which provides greater detail about this assay.

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  • Accurate measurement of serum thyroglobulin (Tg) in patients with known or suspected antithyroglobulin autoantibodies (TgAB) or heterophile antibodies (HAB)
  • Reflex testing of samples with previously unknown TgAB status that prove TgAB positive during immunoassay testing
  • Rarely, in patients without thyroid cancer to assist in the differential diagnosis of early phase silent thyroiditis versus Graves’ disease (the mass spectrometry-based method would only be required if these patients have TgAB or HAB)
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When should I order this test

This test should be ordered to accurately measure serum thyroglobulin in patients with known or suspected anti-thyroglobulin autoantibodies or heterophilic antibodies.


Key points:

  • Serum thyroglobulin measurement is used to follow-up of patient with differentiated follicular cell-derived thyroid carcinoma after surgical removal of the thyroid
  • The presence of anti-thyroglobulin autoantibodies, which are present in up to 30% of thyroid cancer patients, can  cause falsely low serum thyroglobulin concentrations in current immunometric assays
  • Another 0.1% to 3% of patients might have heterophilic antibodies, which can lead to false high thyroglobulin measurements in immunometric assays.
  • Measurement of thyroglobulin by mass spectrometry incorporates trypsin digestion of serum proteins, breaking down anti-thyroglobulin antibodies, heterophilic antibodies, and thyroglobulin into predictable fragments, and enables accurate quantification of thyroglobulin by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry
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  • Tryptic Protein Fragmentation, Further Purified With Immunocapture, Analysis by Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)

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  • Day(s) and Time(s) Test Performed: Monday through Friday; 4 p.m.
  • Analytic Time: 2 days
This entry was posted in Endocrine Cancer, Endocrinology, Oncology, Test in Focus, Testing, Thyroid.