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Thyroid peroxidase antibody test: What is it?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/thyroid-disease/AN00806
- With Mayo Clinic endocrinologist
Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D.read biographyclose window
Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D.Todd Nippoldt, M.D.
Dr. Todd Nippoldt is a board-certified specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology and metabolism. He has special expertise in the area of hormone disorders affecting the pituitary and adrenal glands as well as the testes and ovaries. He has been a member of the Mayo Clinic staff since 1988.
He's a consultant in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition and works with patients who have disorders of the hormone-producing glands. Common disorders include diabetes, thyroid problems, osteoporosis and elevated cholesterol levels.
He's also involved in andrology, the study of male hormonal disorders, male infertility and male sexual dysfunction, and is an assistant professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Nippoldt, a St. Paul, Minn., native, has also contributed to "Mayo Clinic Health Letter," the "Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and a Mayo Clinic CD-ROM. He's a fellow in the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Society of Andrology, The Endocrine Society, The Pituitary Society and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.
"I have found that those patients who have gone to the Internet and obtained accurate medical information come to their appointment with me very well informed, and the discussions regarding the evaluation and management of their condition are very productive and satisfying," he says.
"The key, however, is obtaining accurate medical information. As a medical editor, I hope to be able to ensure that accurate, relevant and up-to-date information is available for patients and their families."
Thyroid peroxidase antibody test: What is it?
What is a thyroid peroxidase antibody test? Does it diagnose thyroid disease?
from Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D.
Thyroid peroxidase (TPO), an enzyme normally found in the thyroid gland, plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormones. A TPO test detects antibodies against TPO in the blood. If you've been diagnosed with thyroid disease, your doctor may recommend a TPO antibody test — in addition to other thyroid tests — to help determine the cause.
The presence of TPO antibodies in your blood suggests that the cause of thyroid disease is an autoimmune disorder, such as Hashimoto's disease or Graves' disease. In autoimmune disorders, your immune system makes antibodies that mistakenly attack normal tissue. Antibodies that attack the thyroid gland cause inflammation and impaired function of the thyroid.
Your doctor may also order a TPO antibody test if you are pregnant and have an autoimmune disease, especially one that involves the thyroid, such as Hashimoto's disease or Graves' disease. In such cases, the TPO antibody test early in pregnancy and possibly again near the end of the pregnancy can help determine whether your baby is at risk of thyroid dysfunction.
Some people with TPO antibodies may not have thyroid disease. However, the presence of TPO antibodies may increase the risk of future thyroid disorders. If you have normal thyroid function with TPO antibodies, your doctor may recommend periodic checkups to watch for future thyroid problems.
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- Thyroiditis. American Thyroid Association. http://www.thyroid.org/patients/patient_brochures/thyroiditis.html. Accessed April 17, 2012.
- Postpartum thyroiditis. American Thyroid Association. http://www.thyroid.org/patients/patient_brochures/postpartum.html. Accessed April 17, 2012.
- Overview of thyroid function. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine_and_metabolic_disorders/thyroid_disorders/overview_of_thyroid_function.html. Accessed April 17, 2012.
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine_and_metabolic_disorders/thyroid_disorders/hashimotos_thyroiditis.html. Accessed April 17, 2012.