Age and assay related changes of laboratory thyroid function tests in the reference female population
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Background: Laboratory thyroid function tests play a central role in the diagnosis of thyroid disorders. The aim of our cross-sectional study was to determine reference values for thyroid tests in a rigorously selected group of Montenegrin females, investigate the impact of possible age-related changes and the influence of the interassay bias between three frequently used immunoassays. Methods: Female subjects were randomly selected, aged between 20 and 69 and 946 of them met the selection criteria. TSH, fT3, fT4, thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies were measured. Eighty samples were further analyzed on two other immunochemistry platforms. Results: Median TSH progressively increased with age, there was no difference in fT3, while fT4 was significantly higher in the two oldest groups compared to the others. When using the age-related 97.5 percentile of TSH the percentage of reclassification was highest in the 20-29 years of age group (5.2%, p lt 0.05). In the oldest band, 7....7% had TSH values above cohort-specific and below the age-related upper reference limit. Bland-Altman bias plots revealed the highest interassay absolute mean difference between compared TSH assays of 24.5% and for fT4 assays of 13.8%. Conclusions: The correlation coefficients between fT3 assays from different manufacturers were low. Serum TSH and fT4 concentrations increased with age and the implementation of age-specific TSH reference intervals would be of interest. The bias between the three commercial immunoassays indicated that the standardization of thyroid function tests is a task of great importance.
Keywords:age / assays / reference values / thyroid function tests
Source:Journal of Medical Biochemistry, 2019, 38, 1, 22-32
- Društvo medicinskih biohemičara Srbije, Beograd i Versita