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Simultaneous Testing for Thyroid Hormones

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Randox Laboratories produces Thyroid Array biochips to simultaneously test for three thyroid hormones in a single sample. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is released by the pituitary gland in the brain. Thyroxine (FT4 or TT4) and tri-iodothyronine (FT3 or TT3) are hormones produced by the thyroid gland. TSH is performed as the initial screening test and all three hormones are essential in the diagnosis of thyroid disease.

According to the UK National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory Medicine Practice Guidelines: “Currently, measurement of the serum TSH concentration is the most reliable indicator of thyroid status at the tissue level.”

Thyroid Array biochips are designed to simultaneously test for all three thyroid hormones in a single sample. The Evidence immunoassay analyzer from Randox Laboratories offers the unique option of reflex reporting. If the TSH test result is within the normal range, only the TSH result is reported and the laboratory only pays for one test.

If the TSH test result is elevated or low, the thyroxine and tri-iodothyronine test results are automatically reported as well. Reflex reporting offers a number of advantages: only one blood sample is required; the laboratory only performs one test procedure; and the laboratory only pays for the extra thyroid hormone tests when they are required.

The most common thyroid diseases are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, affecting about 2% of the population. In hyperthyroidism, thyroid hormone levels are higher than normal; in hypothyroidism, thyroid hormone levels are low. Other thyroid conditions are goitre and thyroiditis. Thyroid cancer varies between slow-growing tumours with a good prognosis, to aggressive tumours with limited treatment options. Thyroid problems are about ten times more common in women than in men.