Endocrinol Metab.  2019 Sep;34(3):268-274. 10.3803/EnM.2019.34.3.268.

Changes in Thyroid Peroxidase and Thyroglobulin Antibodies Might Be Associated with Graves' Disease Relapse after Antithyroid Drug Therapy

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Hwaseong, Korea. hegletter@hallym.or.kr


Graves' disease (GD) is an autoimmune thyroid disorder caused by antibodies stimulating the thyrotropin (TSH) receptor. TSH receptor antibody (TRAb) measurement is useful for predicting GD relapse after antithyroid drug (ATD) treatment. However, the association of other thyroid autoantibodies with GD relapse remains obscure.
This retrospective study enrolled patients with GD who were initially treated with ATD. TRAb, thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb), and thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) were measured at the initial diagnosis and at the time of ATD discontinuation.
A total of 55 patients were enrolled. The mean age was 49.7 years, and 39 patients (70.9%) were female. Antibody positivity at diagnosis was 90.9%, 69.1%, and 61.9% for TRAb, TPOAb, TgAb, respectively. Median ATD treatment period was 15.1 months. At the time of ATD withdrawal, TRAb titers decreased uniformly overall. Conversely, TPOAb and TgAb showed various changes. After withdrawal of ATD, 19 patients (34.5%) experienced relapse. No clinical features or laboratory results were significantly related to relapse in the overall patient group. However, in the TPOAb positive group at diagnosis, increasing titer of TPOAb or TgAb after ATD treatment was significantly and independently related to relapse free survival (TPOAb: hazard ratio [HR], 17.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.66 to 195.43; P=0.02) (TgAb: HR, 5.73; 95% CI, 1.21 to 27.26; P=0.03).
Changes in TPOAb or TgAb titers during treatment might be useful for predicting relapse after ATD treatment in patients with positive TPOAb at diagnosis.


Graves disease; Autoantibodies; Thyroid peroxidase antibody; Recurrence

MeSH Terms

Drug Therapy*
Graves Disease*
Iodide Peroxidase*
Receptors, Thyrotropin
Retrospective Studies
Thyroid Gland*
Iodide Peroxidase
Receptors, Thyrotropin


  • Fig. 1 Changes in (A) thyrotropin (TSH) receptor antibody (TRAb), (B) thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb), and (C) thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) during treatment with antithyroid drug in patients with Graves' disease.

  • Fig. 2 Overall relapse free survival of study population.

  • Fig. 3 Relapse free survival of Graves' disease patients with positive thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) at diagnosis, according to (A) TPOAb changes and (B) thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) changes.

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