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Clin Chem. 2006 Jun;52(6):1196-9. Epub 2006 Mar 30.

Thyroglobulin (Tg) recovery testing with quantitative Tg antibody measurement for determining interference in serum Tg assays in differentiated thyroid carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.



Thyroglobulin (Tg) measurements are complicated by interference from Tg autoantibodies (TgAbs) or heterophilic antibodies (HAMAs). We used a new automated immunochemiluminometric assay (ICMA) with Tg recovery (TgR) on the Nichols Advantage platform to reassess the clinical utility of recovery testing in detecting interference in serum Tg measurement in patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma.


We used 2 TgAb methods to detect Tg measurement interference with TgR and quantitative TgAb measurement in sera from 127 patients. In a limited number of samples, we used an RIA as comparison method because it appeared to be minimally affected by TgAb.


Prevalence of TgAbs was 13% (17 of 127) in either 1 or both TgAb assays. A compromised TgR (<70%) corresponded with TgAb positivity in either TgAb assay for 10 of 11 samples (91%), whereas a normal TgR (> or =70%) corresponded with TgAb negativity in both assays for 95 of 101 samples (94%). In 6 TgAb-positive sera with TgR within the reference interval, there were no discrepancies between RIA and ICMA results. We obtained discordant RIA and ICMA results for 6 of 9 TgAb-positive sera with decreased TgR. In 1 TgAb-negative sample, the Tg result was falsely increased because of interference by HAMAs, as shown by an overrecovery of 126%.


The Nichols Advantage TgR assay is a valuable complementary method to overcome the technical problem of interference by TgAbs or HAMAs in TgAb assays. Further studies are needed to confirm the potential added value of this TgR assay.

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