Thyroglobulin (TG) Test

thyroglobulin test

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is thyroglobulin?

Thyroglobulin is a protein that is produced by the thyroid gland. This helps in the synthesis of the thyroxine and the triiodothyronine.  Thyroglobulin plays a significant role in storing iodine and thyroid hormones in the inactive form. Thyroglobulin concentration in the blood of healthy individuals is usually very low. Thyroglobulin concentration in the blood increases in both benign and malignant cases. 

What is Thyroglobulin test?

The thyroglobulin test is used to assess the levels of thyroglobulin present in the blood. The higher levels of thyroglobulin might have adverse health effects. Hence, the Thyroglobulin test helps in measuring and monitoring the concentration of thyroglobulin. The thyroglobulin test can be used as a tumor marker when already diagnosed.

Why did my doctor recommend me to undergo the Thyroglobulin test?

Your doctor might have recommended undergoing the thyroglobulin test for the following reasons:

– For monitoring the treatment of thyroid cancer.

– To detect the recurrence of cancer, the thyroglobulin test is recommended.

– The cause of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can also be determined by this test procedure.  

When should I take the thyroglobulin test?

If you are a thyroid cancer patient and you are undergoing treatment, the thyroglobulin test is highly recommended for the regular assessment of the seriousness of the condition of the malignancy.There are various other signs and symptoms which also demand a thyroglobulin test. Some of the most common symptoms are as follows:

– Fatigue and tiredness
– Weight gain
– Constipation
– Dry skin or itchy and scaly skin
Goiter (swelling in the neck due to thyroid gland enlargement)

If you observe any of the following symptoms, it is always suggested to go for a thyroglobulin test. 

What are the preparations needed for the Thyroglobulin test?

There are no specific preparations required for carrying out the thyroglobulin test.

– No fasting is required.
– There is no exclusion of old medicines that you had already been taking.
– Prior to the test, no new medications are added.
Some dietary supplements such as multivitamins and the food rich with vitamin 7 should be avoided for 12 hours prior to the thyroglobulin test. This depends on the method of the test used in the laboratory. This should be consulted with the diagnostic center. In the case of certain tests, the intake of such multivitamin rich supplements might lead to false results. 

What is the procedure of the thyroglobulin test?

For carrying out the thyroglobulin test procedure, a sample of blood is collected by the process of venipuncture. Venipuncture is done by the following steps:

– A tourniquet is wrapped around the upper arm to make the veins more prominent.

– A syringe or needle is used to draw blood by puncturing the vein.

– The blood is drawn into the tube of the syringe.

– The tourniquet is unwrapped.

– An antiseptic is applied to the spot of venipuncture to avoid any infection.

– The spot of injection of the syringe is dabbed by a cotton swab or a bandage is put to stop any further bleeding.

The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for the Thyroglobulin test.  

Is the Thyroglobulin test procedure painful?

The thyroglobulin test procedure does not involve any pain at all. Some people might feel a pinpricking sensation during the injection of the syringe. This pain wears off in a few hours or a day to the maximum.

What are the risks associated with the thyroglobulin test?

There are no risks related to this test. The procedure of blood collection(venipuncture) might have some risks associated with it:

– Some people feel light-headed and dizzy after the blood is drawn.

– It might cause Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin causing a lump or bruise).

– There might be pain associated with too many punctures for finding a vein.

What is the price range of the thyroglobulin test in India?

The price of the thyroglobulin test in India ranges from Rs 500-2,800. The prices are variable depending on the location i.e. the city or the state the diagnostic center was located in.

When will I get my results for the thyroglobulin test?

You will get your results for the thyroglobulin test within 24 hours to 36 hours after the test is conducted.

What does my thyroglobulin test depict?

The clinical ranges of thyroglobulin vary depending on gender. The thyroglobulin content in the blood is measured in nanograms per milliliters (ng/mL). The ranges according to the gender are elaborated in the chart given below:

Gender Clinical range
Male 1.40-29.2 ng/mL
Female1.50-38.5 ng/mL

Having a lower level of thyroglobulin in the blood is considered completely normal but the elevated levels of thyroglobulin can cause serious health issues.

What does it mean if I have an elevated level of thyroglobulin?

If you have high levels of thyroglobulin, it can indicate the growth of the thyroid cancer cells. An elevated level of the thyroglobulin can lead to the following conditions:

– Thyroid cancer
– Diabetes type 1
– A drastic decrease in the number of red blood cells in the body (pernicious anemia) caused due to the deficiency of multi-vitamins.
– Some collagen vascular disease

Is the thyroglobulin test suggested for pregnant women?

Generally, there is a steady increase in the thyroglobulin level during pregnancy. The mothers who had been a thyroid cancer survivor are always recommended to undergo the thyroglobulin test. The test helps in constant monitoring and assessment of the condition of the thyroid cancer by measuring the thyroglobulin levels in the blood.

Is the thyroglobulin test recommended for kids?

The thyroglobulin test is completely safe for kids. It involves no pain or risks at all. The blood sample is collected using the process of the venipuncture hence the risks associated with the venipuncture still exists. 

When should I take my kid for the thyroglobulin test?

If you observe thyroid dysfunction signs and symptoms in your kids, the thyroglobulin test is highly recommended. Some of the common symptoms noticed in kids having thyroid dysfunction are:
– Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice). In most cases, this occurs when a baby’s liver can’t metabolize a substance called bilirubin, which normally forms when the body recycles old or damaged red blood cells.
– A large, protruding tongue.
– Uneven breathing.
– Hoarse crying. due to blockage in the larynx or the windpipe due to mucus, etc.
– An umbilical hernia in the umbilical cord.
– Poor growth, resulting in short stature
-Delayed development of permanent teeth
– Delayed puberty
– An underdeveloped mental state or a poor mental growth

What are the benefit and limitations of the thyroglobulin test?

Benefit  Limitation 
The thyroglobulin test plays the role of a tumor marker after getting diagnosed. The thyroglobulin test is not a specific test since the levels of thyroglobulin increases both in the case of the malignant as well as the benign tumor.


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