Thyroid diseases rank among the most frequent medical conditions. As a result, they do not only affect the quality of life of the individual patient but also impose considerable cost on society as a whole. Depending on iodine supply, or lack thereof, up to 50% of the total population experience an enlargement of the thyroid gland, also known as goiter.
Nodular alterations are found in 5 to 25% of the population, with the frequency increasing in line with age.
Hyperactivity of the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) occurs with a prevalence of approx. 0.5 to 2%. In regions with iodine shortage, thyroid autonomy is the dominant condition while Graves’ disease (exophthalmic goiter) is more frequent in areas with normal or abundant iodine supply.
Thyroid insufficiency (hypothyroidism) is found in approx. 0.25 to 1.1% of the population. In many cases, this condition is caused by an autoimmune process. (Autoimmune [Hashimoto’s] thyroiditis).
Carcinomas of the thyroid occur in 10 to 30 per million people, accounting for 0.5 to 1.5% of all cancerous diseases. In 80% of all cases, these are differentiated thyroid carcinomas with a relatively good prognosis, provided the disease is diagnosed at an early stage and carefully followed up.
Graves’ disease is an autoimmune thyroid disease that is characterized by the clinical symptoms of goiter, tachycardia and exophthalmus (abnormal protrusion of the eyeballs). From a differential diagnosis point of view, Graves’ disease must be distinguished from the functional autonomy of the thyroid since the former can initially be treated by the application of drugs while the latter should be treated by surgery or radioiodine therapy. The measurement of the TSH receptor antibody concentration (TRAK) is key to detecting and adequately treating Graves’ disease. Thermo Scientific B·R·A·H·M·S developed TRAK human, a method using human recombinant TSH receptors and detecting almost every patient with Graves’ disease. This ensures that a greater number of patients can be adequately treated at an early stage.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is another autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland. The destruction of thyroid tissue ultimately causes hypothyroidism characterized by a multitude of metabolic symptoms.
For all these diseases, measurement of in-vitro parameters is key to diagnosis, differential diagnosis and clinical decisions to be made in the course of the condition.
Thermo Scientific B·R·A·H·M·S is a market leader for a variety of tests, such as the TSH receptor antibody test (TRAK).
B·R·A·H·M·S GmbH is a member ofDeutsche Gesellschaft für Nuklearmedizin (DGN) (German Society of Nuclear Medicine)
Additional linksDeutsche Gesellschaft für Endokrinologie (DGE) (German Society of Endocrinology)European Thyroid Association (ETA)The American Thyroid Association (ATA)Latin American Thyroid Society (LATS)
RIA - Radio Immuno Assay LIA - Luminescence Immuno Assay EIA - Enzyme Immuno AssayKRYPTOR - Time Resolved Amplified Cryptate Emission (TRACE-Technology)us - ultrasensitive
** under development