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Indian J Clin Biochem. 2011 Apr;26(2):178-81. doi: 10.1007/s12291-011-0128-0. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

Are we using Thyroid Function Tests Appropriately?

Abstract

Thyroid function tests are very important for the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with thyroid dysfunction. The guidelines recommend serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) as the single most reliable test to diagnose all common forms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The aim of this study was to analyze the ordering pattern for thyroid function tests by physicians and the analysis of results based on the clinical history. The mean age of the patients was 32.5 ± 6.5 years. Majority of samples (87.7% of total) were received from the departments of Medicine and Gynae. Thyroid profiles (47.5%) were ordered more frequently as compared to TSH only (46%). There was no significant difference in the percentage of normal reports for both types of tests. 77.8% of TFT and 76.6% of TSH samples had results within the reference range. The percentage of abnormal results was 13.7% in the patients who were screened for thyroid disorders. There is a need to redefine the case definition for thyroid dysfunction and order the appropriate test in a rational and cost effective manner.

KEYWORDS:

Hyperthyroidism; Hypothyroidism; TSH; Thyroid function test

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