Context: Measurement of thyroglobulin (Tg) by mass spectrometry (Tg-MS) is emerging as a tool for accurate Tg quantification in patients with anti-Tg autoantibodies (TgAbs). Objective: The objective of the study was to perform analytical and clinical evaluations of two Tg-MS assays in comparison with immunometric Tg assays (Tg-IAs) and Tg RIAs (Tg-RIAs) in a cohort of thyroid cancer patients. Methods: A total of 589 samples from 495 patients, 243 TgAb-/252 TgAb+, were tested by Beckman, Roche, Siemens-Immulite, and Thermo-Brahms Tg and TgAb assays, two Tg-RIAs, and two Tg-MS assays. Results: The frequency of TgAb+ was 58%, 41%, 27%, and 39% for Roche, Beckman, Siemens-Immulite, and Thermo-Brahms, respectively. In TgAb- samples, clinical sensitivities and specificities of 100% and 74%-100%, respectively, were observed across all assays. In TgAb+ samples, all Tg-IAs demonstrated assay-dependent Tg underestimation, ranging from 41% to 86%. In TgAb+ samples, the use of a common cutoff (0.5 ng/mL) for the Tg-MS, three Tg-IAs, and the USC-RIA improved the sensitivity for the Tg-MSs and Tg-RIAs when compared with the Tg-IAs. In up to 20% of TgAb+ cases, Tg-IAs failed to detect Tg that was detectable by Tg-MS. In Tg-RIAs false-high biases were observed in TgAb+ samples containing low Tg concentrations. Conclusions: Tg-IAs remain the method of choice for Tg quantitation in TgAb- patients. In TgAb+ patients with undetectable Tg by immunometric assay, the Tg-MS will detect Tg in up to 20% additional cases. The Tg-RIA will detect Tg in approximately 35% cases, but a significant proportion of these will be clinical false-positive results. The undetectable Tg-MS seen in approximately 40% of TgAb+ cases in patients with disease need further evaluation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical