Endocrinol Metab > Volume 27(2); 2012 > Article
Endocrinology and Metabolism 2012;27(2):121-125.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3803/EnM.2012.27.2.121    Published online June 20, 2012.
Differential Diagnostic Value of Total T3/Free T4 Ratio in Graves' Disease and Painless Thyroiditis Presenting Thyrotoxicosis.
Sang Min Lee, Soo Kyoung Kim, Jong Ryeal Hahm, Jung Hwa Jung, Ho Su Kim, Sungsu Kim, Soon Il Chung, Bong Hoi Choi, Tae Sik Jung
1Department of Internal Medicine, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju, Korea. taesikjung@gmail.com
2Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Jinju, Korea.
3Department of Nuclear Medicine, Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea.
Abstract
BACKGROUND
It is important to differentiate Graves' disease from that of painless thyroiditis in patients with thyrotoxicosis. In this study, we evaluated the usefulness of total T3 to free T4 ratio in making a differential diagnosis between Graves' disease and painless thyroiditis. METHODS: We reviewed medical records of thyrotoxic patients, who had been diagnosed with Graves' disease or painless thyroiditis, from October 2009 to July 2011. We assessed clinical characteristics, serum levels of total T3, free T4, thyroid stimulating hormone, thyrotropin-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin, and findings of 99mTechnetium thyroid scan. We analyzed the total T3/free T4 ratios between Graves' disease and painless thyroiditis patients. RESULTS: A total of 76 untreated thyrotoxic patients "49 Graves' disease and 27 painless thyroiditis" were examined. The total T3, free T4 levels and the total T3/free T4 ratios were significantly higher in patients with Graves' disease than in those with painless thyroiditis (P < 0.001). In the total T3/free T4 ratio > 73, the possibility of Graves' disease was significantly higher than in painless thyroiditis (sensitivity, 75.5%; specificity, 70.3%). The sensitivity and specificity of the total T3/free T4 ratio in patients with free T4 < 3.6 ng/dL have been increased (sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 71.4%). CONCLUSION: The total T3/free T4 ratios was useful for making a differential diagnosis between Graves' disease and painless thyroiditis.
Key Words: Graves' disease, Painless thyroiditis, Thyrotoxicosis, Total T3/free T4 ratio
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