, Volume 21, Issue 8, pp 2725-2732
Date: 05 Mar 2014

Thyroglobulin Antibodies Could be a Potential Predictive Marker for Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma

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Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) is associated with an increased risk of developing papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). The relationship between thyroid autoimmunity and cancer remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the preoperative TgAb could be a potential predictor of PTC in patients with thyroid nodules and to assess whether there is an association of preoperative TgAb with lymph node metastases.


This retrospective, nonrandomised study included 854 patients who underwent standard total thyroidectomy. Benign thyroid nodules were diagnosed in 447 patients, and 407 presented with malignant nodules. The examined parameters included the clinical characteristics, preoperative TSH and TgAb levels, and the histopathological characteristics of the tumour.


Tumour size >10 mm (p = 0.01), the presence of PTC (p < 0.001), elevated TSH levels (2.64 ± 1.28 μU/ml vs. 2.09 ± 0.98 μU/ml, p = 0.001), HT (p < 0.001), and lymph node metastasis (p = 0.005) were significantly associated with positive TgAb. Additionally, tumour size >10 mm (p < 0.001), preoperative TgAb positivity (p = 0.003), and elevated TSH levels (TSH > 3.4 μU/ml, p = 0.038) were independent risk factors for PTC based on the multivariate logistic regression analysis.


This study showed that TgAb positivity was an independent risk factor for PTC. A positive correlation between TgAb and PTC in patients with indeterminate nodules was existed. Additionally, a positive correlation existed between TgAb and lymph node metastases in patients with PTC. Prospective studies with a larger number of patients and long-term follow-up are needed clarify the potential role of positive serum TgAb in the prediction of PTC.