The Role of Anti-Thyroglobulin Antibodies in Predicting Thyroid Cancers in Patients Undergoing Thyroidectomy


  • Tariq Alubaidi Professor in general surgery FICMS,FACS University of Baghdad,college of medicine
  • Wisam Mahdi Resident in general surgery MBChB Baghdad teaching hospital



Preoperative prediction of thyroid malignancy can help in risk stratification and perioperative management. It has been debated that anti-thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) are more frequently elevated in patients with thyroid cancer than in the general population.


to evaluate the predictive value of TgAb in predicting thyroid cancer in patients undergoing thyroidectomy.

Patients and Methods:

  This is a prospective single-center study including 98 patients diagnosed with a thyroid nodule and scheduled to have a thyroidectomy. Demographic data and final histopathology reports were reported. Serum levels of TgAb were measured by ready kit using competitive radioimmunoassay. Accordingly, patients were divided into two groups: TgAb-positive and TgAb-negative groups.


Thyroid malignancy was reported in 18 patients (18.37%), while the other 80 patients (81.63%) were found to have benign tumors. Twenty-one patients (21.43%) were TgAb-positive and 77 (78.57%) were TgAb-negative. The frequency of positive TgAbs among patients with thyroid malignancy was 61.11% compared to 12.5% among patients with benign tumors (OR= 11.0, 95%CI= 3.46-34.96, P< 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of TgAbs were 61.11% and 87.5% respectively. The positive and negative predictive value of TgAbs were 52.38% and 90.91%, respectively Using receiver operating characteristic curve was used to find out the cut off value of TgAb in predicting thyroid malignancy. The area under curve was 0.681, 95%CI= 0.565-0.797, p= 0.048. The sensitivity and specificity of the test at the TgAb cut off value= 114.6 U/ml was 0.35 and 0.77 respectively.


Positive preoperative serum TgAb level was associated higher frequency of thyroid malignancy. The TgAb has poor sensitivity (61.11%) and good specificity 87.5%) in predicting thyroid malignancy in patients undergoing thyroidectomy.

 Keywords: thyroid malignancy, anti-thyroglobulin antibodies, sensitivity and specificity