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Q&A
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What does a slightly higher value of TSH indicate?

Wednesday, 01 June 2005
Answered by: Dr. Dinesh Dhanwal
Senior Consultant Endocrinologist,
Maulana Azad Medical College,
New Delhi

Q. I am a 32-year-old female having two children. Last month my doctor did a thyroid test. The test reports were: TSH - 4.6 ml/l, Free T4 - 11.6 pmol/l, FT3 - 3.18 pg/ml. The doctor said that TSH is slightly high and there is no need of medicine. What is your opinion?

A.  You have not provided the normal values which might vary according the test kit used. But my perception is that your TSH is slightly higher than normal which means that you have subclinical hypothyroidism. In case your thyroid gland is not enlarged then its OK, you need to get your TSH only after three months time. Remember TSH is the screening test for thyroid gland and any abnormality in the functional status of thyroid gland will be deflected in TSH. In case of hypothyroidism (low function) TSH will be high and in hyperthyroidism it will be low.

A.  You have not provided the normal values which might vary according the test kit used. But my perception is that your TSH is slightly higher than normal which means that you have subclinical hypothyroidism. In case your thyroid gland is not enlarged then its OK, you need to get your TSH only after three months time. Remember TSH is the screening test for thyroid gland and any abnormality in the functional status of thyroid gland will be deflected in TSH. In case of hypothyroidism (low function) TSH will be high and in hyperthyroidism it will be low.

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