Increase of serum thyroxine binding globulin (TBG) resulting from estrogen action may lead to problems in thyroid diagnostics. The aim of the present study was to define the most diagnostically reliable thyroid parameters in women exposed to differentially elevated estrogens. Sera of three groups of healthy women were analyzed: women taking no medicine (controls), those taking oral contraceptives and pregnant women (in weeks 16 or 32 of gestation). All women involved in the study lived in a moderately iodine-deficient geographical area. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), TBG, total thyroxine (T4), total triiodothyronine (T3) and free T3 were determined and free T4 indices (total T4 X T3 uptake; total T 4/thyroxine binding capacity (TBC); total T4/TBG) were calculated. Free T4 was measured simultaneously with a one-step T4-analog enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), a labeled T 4 antibody radioimmunoassay (RIA), and a two-step microparticle enzyme immunoassay (MEIA). Estrogen-dependent differences were found in all investigated parameters; however, they remained in the reference interval for TSH, total T4 X T3 uptake, total T4/TBC, free T3 and free T4 MEIA. It was concluded that simultaneous estimations of free T4 and free T3 should follow a primary TSH measurement. The necessity of a distinct reference range has emerged for free thyroid hormones in midterm and late pregnancy as well as in the use of oral contraceptives, especially in iodine-deficient areas.
- Assay-related Differences
- Free Thyroid Hormones
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology