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Thyroid Diseases

TPO Abs Test

03/20/2006

Question:

My doctor is sending me for a test: TPO Abs. What exactly is that testing for?

Answer:

This is a test for an antibody against a protein that is found in the thyroid gland.  The test is often used to diagnose a certain disease called "Hashimoto's Thyroiditis" which can cause hypothyroidism and enlargement of the thyroid gland (an enlarged thyroid gland is called a "goiter").  This test can be positive in some other thyroid diseases as well, but the usual reason for sending this test is to see if a patient has Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.

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Response by:

Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University