Odd note: Poking around a couple of days ago, saw a study that was looking into how long antibodies were positive before diagnosis. They used women in the armed forces, because they have blood drawn routinely and stored under liquid nitrogen. Based on stored blood samples they were able run tests on 500 service women diagnosed with thyroid disease. They also ran tests on a control group of 2000 women.
60% for the group that was diagnosed with graves or hashimotos, TPO was elevated years before symptoms showed up. But the postive rate ofr the control groups was 5 to 8%.
Upshot is a positive TPO isn't diagnostic by itself.
TPO is an enzyme necessary for the production of thyroid hormones. Are you referring to TPOab?
It's not uncommon for people to have either Graves or Hashi's for years and not know it because it can take a long time for the antibodies to destroy enough healthy thyroid tissue to affect production of hormones. Most people are only tested for thyroid disorders after symptoms show up.
You are right, TPOab. I thought it was interesting though that a large number of controls had elevated TPOab labs, far more than will ever develop thyroid disease. And a lot of those with abnormal labs, high or low were negative.
Elevated TPOab is, typically, a basis for a diagnosis of Hashimoto's, which IS a thyroid disease and can be present for many years without symptoms, though many/most people aren't ever tested for it until they have symptoms of the resulting hypothyroidism. Slightly elevated TPOab can also be present with Graves Disease, which is another thyroid disease, and there are those, that have both Hashi's and Graves. It may also be possible, though rare, for someone with Hashimoto's or Graves not to develop hypo or hyperthyroidism. If they aren't still following the study participants, they don't know how many of them with elevated TPOab went on to develop hypo or hyperthyroidism or how many will in the future.
"And a lot of those with abnormal labs, high or low were negative." Abnormal labs? Are you referring to abnormal TSH, FT3 or FT4? Negative for what? TPOab? That still wouldn't mean they don't have thyroid disease; they'd have to have TGab tested, as well, to rule out Hashimoto's and TSI tested in order to rule out Graves Disease. AND not all hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism is caused by autoimmune disease, which means they wouldn't have antibodies.
Maybe if you could post a link to the study, I'd understand it better.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.