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What is thyroid peroxidase?
Thyroid peroxidase (TPO) is an enzyme made in the thyroid gland that is important in the production of thyroid hormone. TPO is found in thyroid follicle cells where it converts the thyroid hormone T4 to T3.
The thyroid gland is located in the lower part of the neck, below the Adam's apple, wrapped around the trachea (windpipe).
What is the thyroid peroxidase test?
Thyroid peroxidase test is a test that measures the level of an antibody that is directed against thyroid peroxidase (TPO).
Autoantibodies to thyroid peroxidase (TPOAb) are produced within the body. The presence of TPOAb in the blood reflects a prior attack on the thyroid tissue by the body's immune system.
What does a positive thyroid peroxidase test mean?
- Most people with chronic thyroiditis display a positive TPO test. The test is also positive in lesser numbers of people with other thyroid diseases.
- Other autoimmune disorders that may cause a positive TPOAb test include:
- About 3% of people with a positive TPOAb test show no evidence of disease.
- The chance of having a positive TPOAb test is greater in females and increases with age.
What are other names for thyroid peroxidase test?
This test goes by a confusing number of names, including:
- thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibody (TPOAb) test,
- thyroid peroxidase autoantibody test,
- antimicrosomal antibody test, and
- antithyroid microsomal antibody test.
Previous contributing author: Frederick Hecht, MD, FAAP
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Hashimoto's ThyroiditisHashimoto's thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disorder causing inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is a type of hypothyroidism, and is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the US.
Symptoms of Hashimoto's thyroiditis may include dry skin, fatigue, weight gain, feeling cold, excessive sleepiness, dry skin, dry coarse hair, difficulty swallowing, a lump in the front of the throat, muscle cramps, mood changes, vague aches and pains, problems concentrating, leg swelling, constipation, and depression.
There is no cure for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Diet changes, natural supplements, vitamins, or other natural products will not treat Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Treatment for the autoimmune disorder is with thyroid hormone replacement therapy, which will be necessary for the rest of the person’s life.
Hyperthyroidism is an excess of thyroid hormone resulting from an overactive thyroid gland. Symptoms can include
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- weight loss,
- frequent bowel movements,
- depression, and
- cognitive slowing.
Treatment is by medication, the use of radioactive iodine, thyroid surgery, or reducing the dose of thyroid hormone.
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Pernicious AnemiaPernicious anemia is a blood disorder in which the body does not make enough red blood cells due to a lack of vitamin B12 in the blood. Pernicious anemia can develop from a lack of a protein that helps the body absorb vitamin B12, not getting enough B12 in the diet, and certain intestinal conditions that interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12 such as Crohn's disease, celiac sprue, or ulcerative colitis. There is no cure for pernicious anemia, thus treatment is life-long.
Rheumatoid ArthritisRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease.
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Thyroid Blood TestsThyroid blood tests determine the adequacy of the levels of thyroid hormones in in a patient. The blood tests can determine if the thyroid gland's hormone production is normal, overactive , or underactive. The level of thyroid hormones may help to diagnose hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. The test may also point to other diseases of conditions of the thyroid gland.
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Thyroid NodulesThyroid nodules are the most common endocrine problem in the United States. The term "thyroid nodule" refers to any abnormal growth that forms a lump in the thyroid gland. The vast majority of thyroid nodules are benign.
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