Background: A raised serum TSH in the absence of a clear etiology, or "unexplained hyperthyrotropinemia" (UH), can be challenging for clinicians. The aim of the present study was to evaluate potential strategies aimed at a clinical and biochemical characterization of UH patients. Methods: We compared 36 patients with UH with a control group of 14 patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (CAT) and subclinical hypothyroidism. The two groups were compared in terms of the following: (i) the rate of normalization of TSH after repeating with another assay; (ii) the rate of normalization of TSH over time with the same assay; (iii) the reduction in TSH after precipitation with polyethilenglycole (PEG); and (iv) free thyroxine (FT4) levels. Results: Similar TSH levels were observed in UH [5.65 (5.21-6.37)] and CAT [5.62 (5.17-8.50)] (p = 0.489). TSH measurement with another assay method showed a normal TSH value in 41.9% of UH vs. 46.1% of CAT patients (p = 0.797). After repeating the TSH measurement in time with the same assay method, an increased TSH value was confirmed in all cases, in both groups (0% in the UH group vs. 0% in the CAT group, p = 1.000). TSH recovery after PEG precipitation was similar in the two groups (% precipitable post-PEG: 68.75 ± 3.14 in UH vs. 68.67 ± 7.18 in CAT, p = 0.960). FT4 levels were similar in the two groups (FT4 1.02 ± 0.20 ng/dl in UH vs. 1.00 ± 0.20 ng/dl in CAT, p = 0.789). Conclusions: The results do not support the concept that laboratory interferences are more frequent in UH patients, suggesting that patients with UH should be managed in the same way as patients with CAT until proven otherwise.

Unexplained Hyperthyrotropinemia: A Biochemical and Clinical Challenge

Croce, Laura;Chytiris, Spyridon;Coperchini, Francesca;Ferraro, Giovanni;Minelli, Linda;Magri, Flavia;Chiovato, Luca;Rotondi, Mario
2023-01-01

Abstract

Background: A raised serum TSH in the absence of a clear etiology, or "unexplained hyperthyrotropinemia" (UH), can be challenging for clinicians. The aim of the present study was to evaluate potential strategies aimed at a clinical and biochemical characterization of UH patients. Methods: We compared 36 patients with UH with a control group of 14 patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (CAT) and subclinical hypothyroidism. The two groups were compared in terms of the following: (i) the rate of normalization of TSH after repeating with another assay; (ii) the rate of normalization of TSH over time with the same assay; (iii) the reduction in TSH after precipitation with polyethilenglycole (PEG); and (iv) free thyroxine (FT4) levels. Results: Similar TSH levels were observed in UH [5.65 (5.21-6.37)] and CAT [5.62 (5.17-8.50)] (p = 0.489). TSH measurement with another assay method showed a normal TSH value in 41.9% of UH vs. 46.1% of CAT patients (p = 0.797). After repeating the TSH measurement in time with the same assay method, an increased TSH value was confirmed in all cases, in both groups (0% in the UH group vs. 0% in the CAT group, p = 1.000). TSH recovery after PEG precipitation was similar in the two groups (% precipitable post-PEG: 68.75 ± 3.14 in UH vs. 68.67 ± 7.18 in CAT, p = 0.960). FT4 levels were similar in the two groups (FT4 1.02 ± 0.20 ng/dl in UH vs. 1.00 ± 0.20 ng/dl in CAT, p = 0.789). Conclusions: The results do not support the concept that laboratory interferences are more frequent in UH patients, suggesting that patients with UH should be managed in the same way as patients with CAT until proven otherwise.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1476680
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact