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Thyroglobulin and recurrence of thyroid cancer.

To the Editor: I read the recent article (1) on the relationship between thyroglobulin and recurrence of thyroid cancer with great interest. Papageorgiou et al. concluded that 'Although low, a cutoff Tg level of 1.3 ng/ml represents a simple indication for further investigation in patients receiving thyroxine after completion of treatment for thyroid cancer, in the absence of measurement of anti-Tg auto-antibodies. (1) This finding is interesting and contrasts with the previous report that measuring only thyroglobulin could be unreliable without concomitant measurement of anti-Tg. (2) Before reaching this conclusion, some issues should be considered: (i) the quality control of the laboratory measurement; and (ii) one should also note that there is a difference in measured thyroglobulin levels if different test assays are used, and this can be a problem for generalisation in using the thyroglobulin test. (3)

Viroj Wiwanitkit

Wiwanitkit House




(1.) Papageorgiou MS, Liratzopoulos N, Minopoulos G, Manolas KJ. Thyroglobulin what is the postoperative threshold for the suspicion of thyroid cancer recurrence in the absence of anti-Tg antibody measurement? S Afr J Surg 2011;49:118-122.

(2.) Hjiyiannakis P, Mundy J, Harmer C. Thyroglobulin antibodies in differentiated thyroid cancer. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 1999;11(4):240-244.

(3.) Krahn J, Dembinski T. Thyroglobulin and anti-thyroglobulin assays in thyroid cancer monitoring. Clin Biochem 2009;42(4-5):416-419.

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Author:Wiwanitkit, Viroj
Publication:South African Journal of Surgery
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:May 1, 2012
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