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February 1985

Serum Thyroglobulin Levels in the Diagnosis and Follow-up of Subacute 'Painful' Thyroiditis: A Sequential Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, Cattedra di Medicina Nucleare (Drs Madeddu, Casu, and Costanza and Mss Marras, Arras, and Marrosu), and the Service of Endocrinology (Dr Langer), University of Sassari (Italy).

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(2):243-247. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360020063012

• Serum thyroglobulin (Tg) levels were elevated in 92% of 38 patients with subacute "painful" thyroiditis in the early stage, independent of the extent of the disease and thyroid hormone concentrations. After two months of corticosteroid treatment, serum Tg levels were significantly decreased in 25 patients who could be rechecked, compared with the levels in the acute phase, although higher than those in our normal control subjects. Twelve of 25 patients underwent sequential measurements of Tg for three to four months, during the disease and after recovery. In ten the initially elevated values decreased rapidly to normal and were maintained for approximately 20 days. Then they rose gradually, peaked about 60 days after disease onset, then returned slowly and permanently to normal. In one patient who had a clinical relapse during the plateau phase, the Tg level also increased markedly and abruptly. Therefore, serial measurements of serum Tg can help in diagnosing and monitoring subacute "painful" thyroiditis.

(Arch Intern Med 1985;145:243-247)