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Hypothyroidism: Antithyroid Antibodies Test


Topic Overview

The immune system may produce antithyroid antibodies that destroy thyroid tissue. An antithyroid antibody test determines whether you have these antibodies.

If you test positive for antithyroid antibodies, you may have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, the most common cause of hypothyroidism. But many people with hypothyroidism never test positive for antithyroid antibodies. Also, people who test positive for antithyroid antibodies may never develop hypothyroidism.

If you have mild (subclinical) hypothyroidism, the presence of antithyroid antibodies can help predict how likely it is that you will develop hypothyroidism that eventually causes symptoms.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerMatthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology
Last RevisedJuly 16, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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