JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
VALIDATION STUDIES
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Development of a dried whole-blood spot thyroglobulin assay and its evaluation as an indicator of thyroid status in goitrous children receiving iodized salt.

BACKGROUND: Serum thyroglobulin appears to be a sensitive marker of thyroid dysfunction in endemic goiter. However, its value as an indicator of thyroid status in children after the introduction of iodized salt has not been tested.

OBJECTIVE: The objective was to optimize and validate a thyroglobulin assay on dried whole blood spots and to evaluate thyroglobulin as an indicator of thyroid response to iodized salt.

DESIGN: A standardized, commercially available, sandwich fluoroimmunometric serum thyroglobulin assay was adapted for use on blood spots and validated in Swiss children. In a 1-y prospective study in 377 goitrous Moroccan children aged 6-15 y, the assay was used to measure thyroglobulin before and after the introduction of iodized salt. Urinary iodine, thyroid volume, thyrotropin, and thyroxine were measured, and regression was done with thyroglobulin as the dependent variable.

RESULTS: Correlation between the blood spot and serum assays was excellent (r = 0.98). The SD of the difference between the blood spot and serum assays was 3.8 micro g/L; the median CVs for the blood spot assay in controls and samples were 6.3% and 14.4%, respectively. Median thyroglobulin was 24.5 (range: 0-328.8) micro g/L at baseline and fell significantly after the introduction of iodized salt to 6.2 (0-83.1) and 4.4 (0-47.1) micro g/L at 5 and 12 mo, respectively (P < 0.0001). Regression of urinary iodine and thyroid volume on thyroglobulin was highly significant at baseline and at 5 mo (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Thyroglobulin, measured in dried whole blood spots, may be a valuable indicator of improving thyroid function in children after supplementation with iodized salt.

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