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Graves Disease

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The goals of testing include detecting thyroid dysfunction, diagnosing Graves disease, and monitoring Treatment.

Laboratory Tests

To detect thyroid dysfunction, testing may begin with:

The above tests may also be ordered periodically to monitor thyroid function and hormone production.

Laboratory tests used to help diagnose Graves disease and distinguish it from other autoimmune conditions may include one or more tests used to detect the presence of thyroid antibodies:

  • Thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) — The presence of this antibody is diagnostic for Graves disease.
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibody (TRAb) — less specific than TSI
  • Anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody (anti-TPO) — This autoantibody is found in most people with Graves disease as well as in Hashimoto thyroiditis.

Non-laboratory Tests

  • Radioactive iodine uptake — For this test, a capsule or "cocktail" containing a measured amount of radioactive iodine is swallowed; iodine is a critical component of thyroid hormones. The iodine accumulates in the thyroid; more accumulates when the gland is overactive, as occurs in Graves disease. After a specified amount of time, a probe similar to a Geiger counter is placed over the thyroid and the amount of radioactivity is compared to the amount that was given. For additional details, visit

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