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TSI test

TSI stands for thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin. A TSI test measures the amount of thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin in your blood. TSIs are antibodies that tell the thyroid gland to swell and release excess amounts of thyroid hormone into the blood.

Alternative Names

TSH receptor stimulating antibody; Thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed.

How to Prepare for the Test

No special preparation is usually necessary.

How the Test will Feel

When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.

Why the Test is Performed

Your doctor may order this test if you have signs or symptoms of:

The test is also done during the last 3 months of pregnancy to predict Graves disease in the baby.

The TSI test is most commonly done if you have signs or symptoms of hyperthyroidism but are unable to have a test called thyroid uptake and scan .

Normal Results

Normal values are less than 130% of basal activity.

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

A higher-than-normal level may indicate:

  • Graves disease (most common)
  • Hashitoxicosis (very rare)
  • Neonatal thyrotoxicosis

Risks

Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.

Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fainting or feeling light-headed
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
  • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

References

Guber HA, Farag AF. Evaluation of endocrine function. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 24.

Salvatore D, Davies TF, Schlumberger MJ, et al. Thyroid physiology and diagnostic evaluation of patients with thyroid disorders. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR,  et al., eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 11.

Updated: 5/10/2014

Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


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