In clinical practice, many patients do not show the full symptoms of Hashimoto thyroiditis. The titer of the anti-TPO antibodies (ATAB) is often detectable but not pathologically elevated. This study evaluates the clinical status of patients with low ATAB titers.
Sixty-eight consecutive patients (55 female, 13 male; age: 24–84 years; mean: 55.4 years) with detectable titers of ATAB were investigated by clinical status, ultrasound, and thyroid scintigraphy with Tc-99m.
Eighteen patients had pathologically elevated titers of ATAB. Fifty-eight patients with detectable ATAB titers had clinical symptoms, 46 hypoechoic tissue by ultrasound, 17 a decrease in thyroid gland volume, and 14 a thyroid-stimulating hormone >2.5 mU/L.
Patients with low titers of ATAB and thyroid-stimulating hormone values in the upper reference interval (>2.5 mU/L) can have symptoms compatible with thyroid dysfunction and deserve a trial of therapy.
From the Clinic for Nuclear Medicine, University of Essen, Germany.
Reprints: Dr Ernst Eising, Elper Weg 66, D-45657 Recklinghausen, Germany. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.