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immune system may produce antithyroid
antibodies that destroy thyroid tissue. An antithyroid
antibody test determines whether you have these antibodies.
Increased levels of antithyroid antibodies may mean that you have autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's thyroiditis) or autoimmune hyperthyroidism (Graves' disease). But some people who have
hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism never test positive for antithyroid antibodies. Also, people who
test positive for antithyroid antibodies may never develop hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
If you have mild (subclinical) hypothyroidism, the presence of
antithyroid antibodies can help predict how likely it is that you will develop
hypothyroidism that eventually causes symptoms.
August 7, 2012
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Matthew I. Kim, MD - Endocrinology
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